Alexander Runciman

Perseus assisted by Minerva, killing Medusa

Perseus assisted by Minerva, killing Medusa by Alexander Runciman

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Five years older than Fuseli, Runciman also drew on poetry and mythology for his subject matter, and may have influenced the younger artist's manner of depicting the human figure. In Ovid's Metamorphosis the three Gorgons had a hideous appearance which turned whoever beheld them to stone. Perseus beheaded Medusa, but her head retained its petrifying power after death. Runciman focuses more on the classical, reclining body of Medusa, which collapses back on her Gorgon sisters, than on her face. (Monsters and Maidens, 2004)

Title
Perseus assisted by Minerva, killing Medusa
Artist/creator
Production date
1774
Medium
etching
Dimensions
165 x 258 mm
Inscription
AR unciman inv. & fecit 1774 (both figures 7's are reversed)
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Accession no
M1885/16/5
Copyright
No known copyright restrictions
Department
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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