Medusa's Shield Picture

In Greek mythology, Medusa was a monstrous chthonic female character, whose head was covered with snakes and gazing upon whom could turn onlookers to stone.
while Medusa was pregnant by Poseidon, she was beheaded in her sleep by the hero Perseus, who was sent to fetch her head by King Polydectes of Seriphus. With help from Athena and Hermes, who supplied him with winged sandals, Hades' cap of invisibility, a sickle, and a mirrored shield, he accomplished his quest. The hero slew Medusa by looking at her reflection in the mirror instead of directly at her to prevent being turned into stone. When the hero severed Medusa's head, from her neck two offspring sprang forth: the winged horse Pegasus and the giant Chrysaor who later became the hero wielding the golden sword.
The Medusa, circa 1597, is an oil painting by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio. It is in the Uffizi, Florence.

In Greek mythology, Perseus used the severed snake-haired head of the Gorgon Medusa as a shield with which to turn his enemies to stone. By the 16th century Medusa was said to symbolize the triumph of reason over the senses; and this may have been why Caravaggio's patron Cardinal Francesco Maria Del Monte commissioned him to paint Medusa as the figure on a ceremonial shield presented in 1601 to Ferdinand I de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany - Del Monte was the Medici agent in Rome, and the Grand Duke was currently re-organising his personal armoury. The poet Marino claimed that it symbolized the Duke's courage in defeating his enemies.

When i was in Firenze, i saw this artist paint the Medusa on the street. I had seen the original in the Uffizi, and was amazed at the perfection and hard work he put into something that would vanish in just a week or less..
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