WEBINAR RECORDING | “The Petrifying Effect: Beholding Caravaggio’s Medusa”
Presented by Dr. Paolo Alei
with Additional Commentary by Dr. Rocky Ruggiero
In 1598, the Medusa by Caravaggio, today in the Uffizi Museum in Florence, was donated to the Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando de Medici by Cardinal del Monte. The cultivated Cardinal, true discoverer of Caravaggio’s talent and ambassador of the Medici family in Rome, knew that the Duke would have particularly appreciated the ancient Ovidian subject. The myth of Perseus slaying the head of Medusa, the monstruous Gorgon with the power to turn humans into stone through eye contact, had been effectively incorporated (from Leonardo da Vinci to Benvenuto Cellini) into Florentine iconography. Medusa had become the subject of poets who made Caravaggio’s painting a true protagonist of the paragone debate, the discussion about the comparison among the arts. It was not the first time Caravaggio tried to show the superiority of painting over sculpture, especially in its evocative sisterhood with poetry. In this lecture we will not only explore the tradition, meaning, iconography and affectivity of Medusa, but we will also try to explore how Caravaggio could have technically painted the Gorgon with the help of a mirror.
The webinar recording consists of a 45-minute lecture.
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- Lectures 1
- Quizzes 0
- Duration 50 minutes
- Skill level All levels
- Students 0
- Assessments Yes