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Andromeda and the Sea Monster

Massimiliano Soldani Benzidesigned before 1717; cast about 1725

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Andromeda & Leda

As a sea monster lunges towards her, the nude Andromeda recoils, straining against the chains that tie her to the rocky ledge. Her hair blows behind her, indicating sudden movement. The sharp angles of her eyebrows and nose express anxiety, while the diagonal of her body expresses the repulsion she feels towards the growling beast.

Andromeda and the Sea Monsterdepicts a dramatic moment from the ancient Greek author Euripides' tale of Andromeda and Perseus. Andromeda's mother angered the gods with her boast that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, the attendants of the god of the sea, Poseidon. To appease the offended Poseidon, who threatened to destroy their entire kingdom, Andromeda's parents sacrificed their daughter by leaving her where she would be devoured by his monster. As Andromeda awaits the monster, chained to a rock, Perseus flies overhead, falls instantly in love with her, and rescues her by slaying the beast. Massimiliano Soldani Benzi's interpretation of the story is unusual because he focused on Andromeda's horror at the monster instead of on her rescue.

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  • Title: Andromeda and the Sea Monster
  • Creator: Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi
  • Date: designed before 1717; cast about 1725
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 49.6 x 33.3 x 20.7 cm (19 1/2 x 13 1/8 x 8 1/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Bronze on grey-green marble bases with bronze mounts
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Sculpture
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 97.SB.61.1
  • Display Location: Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum East Pavilion, Gallery E102
  • Department: Sculpture & Decorative Arts
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Sculpture


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