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ANDROMEDA AND PERSEUS

THE MYTH

Andromeda's misfortunes began when her mother compared herself to a group of marine nymphs, the Nereids, claiming to be more beautiful than they were.The nymphs very offended by what had happened decided that Cassiopeia's vanity had exceeded the limits and asked Poseidon, the god of the sea, to teach her a lesson.As punishment, Poseidon sent a terrible monster to raid the coasts of the territory of King Cepheus. Concerned, Cepheus turned to Amon's Oracle to find a way out and was told that to calm the monster he had to sacrifice his virgin daughter: Andromeda.The young woman was chained to a rocky coast to pay for her mother's faults and while Andromeda was chained to the cliff beaten by the waves, pale with terror, the hero Perseus, fresh from the undertaking of the beheading of Medusa, happened to be there: his heart was captured at the sight of that fragile beauty in anguish.Perseus offered to kill the monster in exchange for Andromeda's hand. So he launched himself against the monster killing him and finally made Andromeda his bride.

THE PAINTING

In this painting Andromeda is chained to the cliff and waits to be sacrificed by the dragon of Poseidon. She has long blonde hair and wears a blue dress typical of those times, she is panicked and in anguish. At the bottom, on the right, we find the monster that is about to devour the girl while at the top we see Perseus arriving with his horse Pegasus, characterized by big red wings, to save Andromeda. Perseus is holding a sword with which he kills the monster. The sky is full of large clouds while the sea and the rocks extend below.

THE MONSTER

The name of the monster Ceto derives from the Greek and means "big fish". Ceto was in fact often depicted as a sea monster with the shape of a large fish or whale. In Greek art Ceto was represented as a cross between a fish (or sometimes as another marine creature) and a snake. From the painting we can see that the big monster has its jaws wide open letting see the huge sharp teeth. He has a long tail and a long tongue. Its dimensions are enormous and it is a monster that obviously scares. The monster represents punishment, in fact it was sent precisely to punish Andromeda's mother.