Description of the painting “Perceus and Andromeda”, Rubens

Description of the painting “Perceus and Andromeda”, Rubens
Description of the painting "Perceus and Andromeda", Rubens - 1

  • Posted by Peter Paul Rubens
  • Museum: Hermitage
  • Year: 1620-1621

Description of the picture :

Perseus frees Andromeda – Rubens. 1620-1621. Oil, canvas, 99.5×139 cm

   One of Rubens’ undeniable masterpieces, created by him in the period 1620-21. The based ancient plot of the son of Zeus Perseus, who defeated the terrible Medusa Gorgon and the beautiful Andromeda, the daughter of King Kefey and Queen Cassiopeia, doomed to become a victim of a sea monster, takes on a completely new sound from the great Flemish.

   Princess Andromeda is no longer a classic antique beauty with verified proportions – the artist endowed her with features of a lush-bodied, noble Flemish girl with golden hair and a flaming blush on her cheeks. Extraordinaryly airy, bright, chanting paints of her almost naked body, soundly contrast with the steel armor of Perseus, his sparkling shield with the attached head of Gorgon, with the whole powerful figure of a hero depicted with many details: winged sandals on his legs, a wreath over his head, an invisible helmet in the hands of the amur.

   Another amur holds Pegasus, a winged horse born from a drop of blood of the murdered Gorgon, under the natives. And this horse is not a thin-legged horse from ancient myths, but a strong, white-headed Flemish stallion, all to match its rider.

   The winged goddess of victory – Nick, holding a laurel wreath over Perseus’s head, gives the whole canvas the character of solemn action, even an allegory so beloved by Rubens. The opposition of two central movements in the picture: a decisive, confident impulse of the hero of Perseus and the embarrassed, bashful, incredibly feminine, oncoming impulse of the princess Andromeda, creates a subtle and, at the same time, “naked” game of the nascent feelings of lovers. For the artist, observing the ancient plot is not so important as singing a health-drying, strong, confident body in a trepidation and such a natural rapprochement.

   The color structure of the work is saturated with pearl pink, mother-of-pearl, bodily, bright red, golden, light green, bright-board spots that harmonize with each other and create a magnificent, solemn mood of what is happening. The great master Rubens in this masterpiece is real, more authentic than ever!