- Benvenuto Celini
- bronze 1546-54
Mythologically, Perseus wears the special cap that allows him invisibility. His sword has a specialized curve in the blade, the artist's conception of scimitar. Medusa's head has snaky tresses, and, because her eyes are closed, she has been rendered momentarily benign, a dangerously potent tool subject now to Perseus' whim. Perseus strides triumphantly over the crumpled body of the gorgon. Gore surges from the decapitation wound, both from the severed neck and from the severed head.
Commissioned by Cosimo de Medici, the Duke of Florence, as a symbol of his own "conquest over the Gorgon of tyrannicide and of Republican partisanship."