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Caravaggio-Head of Medusa

Sep - 19 - 2013

Head of Medusa

Head of Medusa, 1595 -1600
Oil on a specially prepared shield covered with leather, 60 x 55 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence `
This time Caravaggio did not paint a standard picture-surface, but a convex ceremonial shield. This shield from the Medici armory was a  decorative accompaniment to a suit of armor which Shah Abbas of  Persia had presented to the Grand-duke of Tuscany. The myt h of  Perseus, who cuts off the head of the monster. Medusa leads to a curious paradox. On Caravaggios shield. the head has already been severed from the body. and blood pours out of the neck. But life has not yet departed. Eyes widened in horror, the monster looks at the world on e last time. whilst a scream of death is wrenched from its gaping mouth.

Bibliography: Eberard König- “Caravaggio”

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