This masterpiece of the Florentine Renaissance depicts the myth recounted by Ovid in Book IV of the Metamorphoses.
Here, we see a young girl tied to a bare tree: "He would have thought that she'd been carved from stone were it not for the breeze that stirred her hair and for the warm tears flowing from her eyes" (lines 673-675). It is Andromeda, daughter of the Ethiopian king Cepheus, offered to a sea monster as a punishment for her mother's vanity.
"Applause reverberates along the shore and from the mansions of the gods above. Cepheus and Cassiope [...] rejoice in their new son-in-law, and hail him as prop and savior of their family" (lines 735-738). Perseus marries Andromeda. A group of revellers waves laurel branches, a symbol of the peace that he has brought them.
Here we find the emblem of the Medici, a lopped laurel branch (or "broncone") which is still capable of regenerating, like the Phoenix. This is an allusion to the return of the Medici to the city in 1512 after their exile, a return which was supported by Filippo Strozzi, who had married a member of the Medici family in 1508.
Project curated by the Department of Digital Communications of the Uffizi Galleries.
Thanks to Adriano Sangineto of the Antica Liuteria Sangineto for the information on musical instruments.