Genre: mythological painting
Media: oil, canvas
Location: Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Medusa was a Gorgon monster, a terrifying female creature from the Greek Mythology. While descriptions of Gorgons vary across Greek literature, the term commonly refers to any of three sisters who had hair of living, venomous snakes, and a horrifying visage that turned those who beheld it to stone. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal, Stheno and Euryale , their sister Medusa was not, and was slain by the mythical hero Perseus, the legendary founder of Mycenae and of the Perseid dynasty. According to the story, she was killed by Perseus, who avoided direct eye contact by using a mirrored shield. After Medusa’s death, her decapitated head continued to petrify those that looked at it.