Joachim Wtewael: Perseus and Andromeda (1611)

(louvre, Paris, France)

Joachim Wtewael was a Dutch painter from the 16th/17th century who painted mythological and religious subjects. This nice painting shows an episode from Greek mythology. Perseus was the legendary founder of Mycenae, killed the gorgon Medusa and saved Andromeda, the daughter of the Aethiopian king Cepheus. This painting shows the latter episode. The wife of king Cepheus, Cassiopeia, boasted that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, the nymph-daughters of the sea god Nereus. Poseidon punished the arrogant queen by sending the sea monster Cetus to the kingdom of Aethiopia. King Cepheus consulted the oracle of what to do and was told to sacrifice his daughter Andromeda to the monster. Andromeda was chained to a rock to await her terrible faith. At this moment Perseus, after having defeated Medusa, saw Andromeda and killed the sea monster Cetus and set Andromeda free. Painting from 1611.