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Exceptional Medusa mask in Carrara marble, dating from the 16th or early 17th century. 
The inner face, finely carved with two marine animals entwining around Poseidon's trident, indicates that it was not a fountain mask but more likely an ornamental mask, made to be visible under all its angles.

With the Renaissance, ancient myths regained fresh vigor. It is through them that the ideals of the time are most clearly embodied. Painters, sculptors, poets and writers revived its myths. Caravaggio, Du Bellay, Desportes, Labé and even Pontus de Tyard were some of the major players. 

This rare sculpture of Medusa, the most famous of the three Gorgons, is formerly sealed on a pedestal base in Carrara marble, dating from the first half of the 19th century. 
The set is in a good state of conservation, uncleaned.

The Mask of Medusa from the 16th century. 
The 19th century plinth.

Reference character of mythology, who is really Medusa?

When we hear news that upsets us, we usually say that we are "dumbfounded". We are frozen in astonishment, unable to move or speak. And this expression, like many others, has its origin in Greek mythology.

The myth of Medusa has many versions and is told by many Greek and Roman authors, from the evocation of "the Gorgon" in The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer -3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_of Ovid, via la Theogony of Hesiod and the stories of Aeschylus, Pindar or Euripides.

Medusa is the daughter of Phorcys and Keto, children of Gaia (Earth) and Pontos (Ocean). She is therefore part of the family of primordial divinities. Medusa is one of the three Gorgons, these monstrous creatures with serpent hair and petrifying gaze. In its archaic depictions, Medusa has the  boar's face, bulging eyes, fangs, tongue hanging out, and snakes in the hair or at the waist.

According to legend, Medusa is the only one of the three Gorgons to be mortal. Unlike her two sisters, Medusa is a beautiful young girl with resplendent hair. Courted by men, she vowed to serve the goddess Athena. But no wish resists the assaults of a god, and, in this case, those of Poseidon who falls in love with the young woman. While some sources claim that the young woman allowed herself  to be seduced by the god, others write that Poseidon raped Medusa in the temple of Athena.
The latter, outraged by the violation of her temple, punishes the young woman, transforming her beautiful hair into hideous snakes and casting a curse on Medusa : whoever looks the creature in the eye will be turned to stone . In addition to her killer gaze, she utters a heartrending cry which is that of death itself.
Medusa is then condemned to live as a recluse in a cave, alongside her two sisters.

Medusa and the Gorgons inspire everyone's fear and only the cunning of the hero Perseus manages to trick Medusa. man seek the head of the Gorgon, in the hope that the young man perishes. Perseus, armed with winged sandals, the helmet of Hades making him invisible and his shield polished like a mirror, goes to the cave where Medusa is and manages to cut off her head using her shield by thwarting her gaze.
But that's not the end of the story. From the severed head of Medusa sprang two sons, born from the union of Poseidon and Medusa. These sons are Chrysaor and Pegasus, the winged horse.
The blood dripping from the head of Medusa will be collected by the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius : from the left vein comes a poison while from the right vein flows a remedy so powerful that it allows Asclepius to raise the dead. Monstrous and saving, killer and giver of life, from the worst comes the best and from death itself, life.

As with all of my art objects and furniture, I am very careful to be able to offer them to you at a very low expert estimate.

This marble sculpture is photographed in daylight. So you can enjoy it as it really is.
 





























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16th century, Rare Gorgon Medusa in marble.

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  • DIMENSIONS

    Height 20,5 inches
    Width 17 inches

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