Rubens presented the Andromeda myth, derived from Ovid's account in the 'Metamorphoses', with some narrative breadth. Andromeda was chained to a rock and exposed to a sea-monster as a punishment for her mother's arrogance, who had dared to boast that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the Nereids. Perseus, who had just returned from his victorious struggle with the feared Gorgon Medusa, is hurrying on to the scene to free Andromeda from her chains; the slain monster is lying on the left. The light-toned, softly and atmospherically shaded colour is typical of Rubens's work in the 1620s. As a painter trained in the humanities he was able to appropriate from antiquity: the form of Andromeda and of the putto who is working on her chains is based on the Roman Statue of 'Venus felix'.