Analyzing Antonio Canova's Perseus With The Head Of Medusa

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For my artwork analysis paper I chose the sculpture crafted by Antonio Canova called, Perseus with the Head of Medusa. This sculpture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a replica of the bronze sculpture that was made by Benevento Cellini in 1545. The marble replication was made around 1805. Perseus with the Head of Medusa is exactly what the title says. Perseus, the son of Zeus, beheaded Medusa. Medusa was a hideous woman-faced Gorgon whose hair turned to snakes. Anybody who looked into Medusa’s eyes would be turned to stone. Canova was a very famous sculpture from the Neoclassicism time period. Canova was such a great sculpture that he was compared to Michelangelo (458). Many also believed that the “birth of the eighteenth-century Neoclassicism was led by Antonio Canova (457). Neoclassicism is defined by heroic nudity in sculpture. Some of the styles from the neoclassic time period came from Greek and Roman art. The neoclassicism time period took place in the early…show more content…
Marble is pretty easy to carve when it is new. Overtime marble will start to harden and become more durable. Canova designed this sculpture to be free standing. A free standing sculpture is one that stands alone and is not affiliated with anything else around it besides maybe its bases the sculpture is on, so that surrounding all sides of the piece is space. In the case of this sculpture, it does not have an intricate base. The base on this sculpture is just flat, as if Perseus was standing on solid ground. In the original bronze sculpture, the base is more meticulous. Perseus is standing on the body of Medusa. In the bronze sculpture this makes him look ever more triumphant. Canova represented the Perseus triumphantly raising his left arm with the head of Medusa. The excitement of the action is frozen and has a classical style to the piece. This piece has a classical style feel to it even though it was constructed in the neoclassical time

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