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Cast of a late-antique relief of ‘Perseus and Andromeda’
Museum number: M323
This cast is taken from a large marble Roman relief now in the Capitoline Museum in Rome, dated to the second century AD. It depicts the culmination of the ancient Greek legend of Perseus and Andromeda. Queen Cassiopeia, mother of Andromeda, claimed that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, thus angering the sea god Poseidon. Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack her land as a punishment. To avert the danger Andromeda was chained to a rock in the sea as a sacrifice. This scene shows the moment when the Greek hero Perseus, seeing Andromeda chained to the rock, comes to her rescue, slays the monster, and holds out his hand to guide her safely to shore.
This cast was formerly in the possession of John Flaxman and was acquired by Soane in c.1834 when he was invited by Flaxman's sister-in-law Maria Denman to select items from those left in the sculptor's studio after his death (he had died some years earlier in 1826).
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