“Head of Medusa” Paco della villa Borghese, Rome Italy
Medusa sculpture (c. 2nd century AD) at Hadrian’s Villa, Tivoli, Italy.
Vincenzo Gemito (1852 – 1929) Medusa 1911 Parcel-gilt silver
Perseus with the Head of Medusa: Benvenuto Cellini -1554
Sculpture 3.20 m on a square base with bronze relief panels is located in the Loggia dei Lanzi of the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy.
The subject matter of the work is the mythological story of Perseus beheading Medusa, a hideous woman-faced Gorgon whose hair was turned to snakes and anyone that looked at her was turned to stone. Perseus stands naked except for a sash and winged sandals, triumphant on top of the body of Medusa with her snakey head in his raised hand. The body of Medusa spews blood from her severed neck. The bronze sculpture and Medusa’s head turns men to stone and is appropriately surrounded by three huge marble statues of men: Hercules, David and later Neptune. Cellini breathed new life into the piazza visitor through his new use of bronze in Perseus and the head of Medusa and the motifs he used to respond to the previous sculpture in the piazza.