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“Perseus and Andromeda” by Joachim Wtewael

Persus and Andromeda by Joachim Wtewael

“Perseus and Andromeda” by Joachim Wtewael

“Perseus and Andromeda” by Joachim Wtewael dramatically portray the Greek mythological story of Andromeda. Perseus is depicted flying above on his winged horse Pegasus. Perseus used his sword to attack the sea monster, who turns to attack the hero. Andromeda’s white body is contrasted with symbols of death on the ground and depicted as pure innocence.

In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of the Ethiopian King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. The beautiful but the vain Queen, Cassiopeia’s hubris led her to boast that Andromeda is more beautiful than the sea nymphs, who were the daughters of Poseidon, the god of the sea. When the nymphs heard of her claims, they protested to their father, who retaliated by calling up a sea monster called Cetus to wreak havoc on Ethiopia, placing the kingdom at risk. In response, the Queen, together with the King, decided to sacrifice her daughter, Princess Andromeda, to the monster.

Andromeda was chained to a rock as an offering to the monster. Fortunately, Perseus was traveling home on his winged horse, Pegasus, after battling with Medusa. He rescued Andromeda by killing the beast. The couple fell in love, but the Princess was already betrothed to Phineus. Perseus argued with Phineus at the wedding, but the fight was drawn to a conclusion when Phineus was turned to stone after Perseus brandished the head of Medusa.

Joachim Wtewael was a Mannerist painter and one of the leading Dutch exponents of Northern Mannerism, and his distinctive and attractive style remained mostly untouched by the naturalistic developments in art.

Perseus and Andromeda in Art

Perseus and Andromeda

  • Title:                 Perseus and Andromeda
  • Français:          Persée secourant Andromède.
  • Artist:               Joachim Wtewael
  • Created:          1611
  • Media:             Oil paint on Canvas
  • Dimensions:    180 × 150 cm (70.9 × 59.1 in)
  • Museum:         Louvre Museum

Joachim Wtewael

  • Name:                Joachim Anthoniszoon Wtewael
  • Also known:     Uytewael
  • Born:                 1566 –  Utrecht
  • Died:                  1638
  • Nationality:      Dutch
  • Movement:       Northern Mannerism
  • Notable Works:

A Tour of Paintings in the Louvre

Reflections

  • Why was the “Perseus and Andromeda” story such a favorite subject for artists?
  • Which is your favorite painting of “Perseus and Andromeda”?

~~~

“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”
– Francis Bacon

~~~


Photo Credit:1) Joachim Wtewael [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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