Perseus Saving Andromeda

Artist: Giovanni David (Italian, Cabella Ligure 1749–1790 Genoa)

Date: ca. 1775

Medium: Etching

Dimensions: Plate: 11 15/16 x 8 1/2 in. (30.4 x 21.6 cm)
Sheet: 12 13/16 x 14 7/8 in. (32.5 x 37.8 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Purchase, 2001

Accession Number: 2001.741


David depicts the moment when having slain the sea monster to whom she was to be sacrificed Perseus frees Andromeda. On the ground to the right of Perseus lies the shield whose reflective surface had enabled him to slay Medusa, since looking on the Gorgon directly would have turned him to stone. Although classical sources describe Perseus as flying with the aid of winged sandals, artists often show him riding Pegasus, born from Medusa's blood. Considered an embodiment of fame, the winged horse was an appropriate mount for a hero.