Perseus frees Andromeda – Piero di Cosimo

Perseus Freeing Andromeda or Liberation of Andromeda is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Piero di Cosimo, executed in 1510 or 1513.It is housed in the Uffizi Gallery of Florence, Italy.

The painting is mentioned in 1568 by Giorgio Vasari, who states that it was commissioned by Filippo Strozzi the Elder, and gifted by Giovanni Battista Strozzi to a member of Cosimo I de’ Medici’s personnel.

Perseus is dealing with the sea monster that is about to attack Andromeda, daughter of the King of Ethiopia, offered as a sacrifice to placate the monster’s ire. The monster had been unleashed by Poseidon, angry with the boastful Cassiopeia, Andromeda’s mother. Perseus is shown twice more in the painting, when he sees the dragon and the young sacrificial victim, while flying through the skies on his winged sandals, when he celebrates the liberation of Andromeda, who will become his bride. In the composition, the jubilation of Andromeda’s father and the laughing crowds, shown on the right, contrasts with the desperation of the family at the destiny of the young princess in the scene on the left.

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