Cassiope, Queen of Ethiopia, boasted that she was more beautiful than the Nereids (or sea nymphs). In revenge the Nereids persuaded Neptune to send a sea monster to ravage the Ethiopian coasts. Cassiope’s daughter, Andromeda, was then tied to the rocks as a victim for the monster to discourage him from further attacks. In this painting she is about to be rescued by Perseus - but only just in time; ultimately of course, he will marry her. All the drama is here: Perseus’s arrow has just struck the dragon; Andromeda looks round for help but cannot see her rescuer, and her clothes are just about to come off entirely. The dragon is wounded but still looks up defiantly; he has got Andromeda twisted into his coils and will not easily let go. The contorted pose of Andromeda enclosed within the twisting form of the monster reflects the sophisticated linear rhythms of Leighton’s late style, but more unforgettable is Andromeda’s soft white body seen against the hard dark scales of the dragon.