fb track
Default
Monuments

Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini

One of the most famous statues in piazza della Signoria in Florence

Map for 43.769226,11.255871
Firenze
Piazza della Signoria

Perseus with the Head of Medusa is the famous statue by Benvenuto Cellini, found in Florence in piazza della Signoria, under the Loggia dei Lanzi, and one of the most important examples of Italian Mannerist sculpture.  

Cellini, one of the greatest goldsmiths of the Renaissance, was commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici to sculpt this work in 1545.

The subject is Perseus, standing over the body of Medusa and holding the recently decapitated head of the monster in one hand and his sword in the other. The bronze sculpture is full of details which make it unique: according to mythology, the hero has winged sandals for speed, the magic bag to store the head and the helmet of invisibility.

Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini
Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Benvenuto Cellini

The statue had a political meaning and represented the power of the Duke who had “cut off the head” of the Republic. Medusa symbolises the Republican experiment and the snakes coming out of her body are the discords that have always affected democracy.

The fame of the statue in art history also is also owed to the extraordinary melting feat that Cellini achieved. The work was very complex as he had to create a flame at a temperature adapted to both the insufficiency of the basin and for a fire in his workshop. Once cooled, melted in one single casting, a long polishing process which started in 1549 was needed, this was finished in 1554 when the statue was presented in the square.

Florence
An astonishing city of art, fashion and tradition
If you are visiting Tuscany you cannot miss Florence. The Renaissance city is a treasure trove of art with an astonishing contemporary vibe. Beyond the extraordinary artistic heritage, a testimony to its centuries of civilization, the best way to enjoy Florence is to stroll along the riverside avenues at sunset, or to get lost among the city’s myriad alleyways of the bohemian Oltrarno or the ...
Morekeyboard_backspace