Perseus and Andromeda

Frederic Leighton, 1891 first exhibted

WAG 129

About this object

Perseus and his mission to kill the Medusa was one of the most renowned ancient legends in the Victorian era. Perseus, the son of Danaë and Zeus, was ordered to fetch the head of the Gorgon Medusa, whose magical power caused all who saw it to be turned to stone.

Perseus is shown riding here on a winged horse, carrying the Medusa’s head. He has come to the rescue of Andromeda, who is chained to a rock as sacrifice to Poseidon, God of the Sea. Leighton has infused drama in the scene. Perseus’s arrow has just struck the dragon whose body continues to ensnare Andromeda.

Object specifics

  • Artist(s)
    Frederic Leighton (British: English, born:1830-12-03, died:1896-01-25)
  • Date
    1891 first exhibted
  • Materials
    Canvas; Oil paint
  • Measurements
    canvas/support: 235 x 129.2 x 12 cm; framed: 279 x 185 x 18 cm
  • Physical description
    A half naked woman partially covered with white drapery is tied to a rocky precipice surrounded by water. A dragon-like creature with wings hovers above her, breathing fire on her right. In the sky, a figure is flying on a winged horse directly in front of the sun.
  • Related people
    Arthur Tooth and Sons Ltd (Previous owner) ; Grindley and Palmer (Previous owner) ; Sir William Pickles Hartley (Previous owner) ; Frederic Leighton (Artist/maker)
  • Other number(s)
    WAG Inventory Number: 129
  • Credit line
    Presented to the Walker Art Gallery by Sir William P Hartley JP in 1909
  • Location
    Walker Art Gallery, Room 08
  • Collection
    From the Walker Art Gallery collections


Previous owners

  • Sir William Pickles Hartley

    Owned from: 1909-08-21
    How acquired: Purchased from Grindley and Palmer, Liverpool for the Walker Art Gallery
    Owned until: 1909-08-21
    Disposal method: Presented to the Walker Art Gallery
  • Grindley and Palmer

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: 1909-08-21
    Disposal method: Sold to Sir William Pickles Hartley
  • Arthur Tooth and Sons Ltd

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchase from the sudio sale after artist's death in 1896
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Unknown or unrecorded
Object view = Fine Art
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