The bronze sculpture Perseus with the head of Medusa additionally called Cellini’s Perseus is a masterpiece of Italian Mannerism that is one of the most common statues in the Piazza della Signoria. The making of the sculpture used to be motivated by the want to replicate the Greek classical style with the founder Antonio Canova opting to make it standout the entrance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Heilbrunn). It is apparent, however that the making of the sculpture is exceedingly motivated by the social element of the Greek culture. The sculpture that is still present to day is now an picture representing the human and compassion aspect of the Westerns nations as photograph is largely characterized through element of dignity and philanthropy that characterizes the Western world today despite having been existent for decades.
It could, however, be noted that the image can also be used to portray a disunity of the human race and especially the Western nations from the manner in which the image is depicted. It many cases, the creation of a sculpture is based on positive and motivational aspects of the community. It is noted, however, that the image contradicts its primary goals from the realization that it portrays Perseus standing while holding Medusa’s body. He holds her head in the air with the effect being that he has beheaded her with the sword that is held in the other hand (Kibin). The contrasting feature, therefore, is that the aspect of holding sword a head on the other hand challenges the feature of humanity that is largely described in the image. It is inferred, therefore that based on the presentation of a human being holding the head of another human, then there is an aspect of the lack of peace. It is thus seen that from the image, there are various ways of interpreting the sculpture with the element of the iconic image being controversially divisive rather than uniting.
A key idea that is apparent in the image is that serpents are seen emerging from Medusa’s body from different directions. The relevance of this in relation to promoting the Western humanity is that the serpents are used to illustrate the disagreements that are pertinent in many parts of the world and especially in the Western world where different counties are striving to attain dominance over the other nations and in the process undermining the rule of law. It is stated that, “The marble statue shows the Greek demigod Perseus holding the head of Medusa. Perseus is holding a triumphant pose as he has just beheaded Medusa. Perseus is holding the head of Medusa in his hand by grabbing the venomous snakes on her head. The face of Medusa expresses horror as it has just been cut off” (Sartle). It is indicative of the fact that there are major conflicts in the world today that appear to share in a common origin. It should, be noted, however, that the representation of the serpents can also be perceived as a different dimension that the people’s conflicts usually take and that are likely to the realization of true democracy. The making of the status considering this feature has proved to be a difficult endeavor because the designer of the sculpture had to engage his talents into test. The significance, however, is that the viewer is able to appreciate the need for unity in the realization of the Western and human objective of mutual understanding and interaction to promote social harmony.
It is also critical to highlight that the Western humanity feature can be interpreted by considering the difficulty in the making of the sculpture. The masterpiece comprises several key features that appear to have involved the maker a great deal of time and skill when factoring the design of the image. In fact, from the backstory is the making of the sculpture, it is apparent that “Antonio Canova made this statue twice. The first version was made during the 1790s and is now displayed in the Vatican Museums. The head of Medusa in this statue has been inspired by the Medusa Rondanini, a marble sculpture that can be found in the Glyptothek in Munich” (“Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Antonio Canova”). In fact, the first version is said to have been commissioned by Pope Pius VII as it served to replace an initial version that had been confiscated. Cellini is said to have put his talents into test in the making of the status and has on several occasions been overheard to state the difficulty in making Perseus in several of his autobiographies. For instance, in one instance, the maker complained of the challenge that he faced in trying to fuse the status in the skin that he made it assume and further argued the problem he faced in trying to use all the dishware in an effort to make the sculpture fun. The impression that the viewer gets from this statement is that humanity in the Western is defined by making use of the available resources in a creative way regardless of how difficult it was to ensure that the result is satisfying. In fact, it appears that the Western world tradition of promotion creativity was put into test for a long time in history as manifested by the statement by the maker of the image.
The other key consideration that constitutes a uniting feature in the examination of the core element that characterize Western philanthropy is the aspect of self-appreciation. In many cases, it is common for the rest of the world to association the West with traits that portray them as egocentric and self-centered humans. The statement is usually based on the fact that in many cases, the westerners are fond of trying to ensure that they serve their best interests ahead of others. In fact, it is written that because of the burning desire to satisfy is interests, Cellini almost died undertaking the project. It is written that, “Cellini nearly died on this project. He was less comfortable with bronze than gold and, long story short, the roof of his studio caught fire. So much wind and rain rushed through the place that he caught a nasty cold. Working through the sickness, he collapsed and nearly died” (Schack). The implication is similar when critically assessing the artistic creation of the Perseus with the Head of Medusa. From the sculpture, it is noted that Cellini used a young lover as the basis for the designing of the model for the statue. Furthermore, the back of Perseus’ neck constituted small portraits of a man in beards. Interestingly, the representation of the man who is in beards is Cellini himself (Schack). The relevance of this style of art is that it further acts as a differentiating feature of the western world because it ensures that while an artist is skillful in representing the world through art, they also have a place for persona satisfaction, a concept that is controversially perceived as egocentrism.
It is also key to consider Wester humanity and professionalism can also be interested based on the succession that the making of the statue over the years. While Cellini is the perceived maker, the commissioning of the state traces itself to Cosimo I dei Medici with the confirmation taking place after his naming as the Grand Duke (Toscana). However, it was not until 1545 to 1554 that statue was completed and has since been standing in the Loggia to this day. Except for the period that ended in 1998, the sculpture is said to have stood on the same spot for the many years that it has existed. The fact that it has managed to exists in many decades and passed from one generation to another is a major proof of the considerate nature of the Western world in preserving treasured items for the next generations (Toscana). In fact, it is also noted that the Perseus often recalled Donatello’s bronze sculpture while Cellini used it as a basis for advancing knowledge and creativity. The maker of the statue opted to move from the early Renaissance to the characteristic titanism and the Italian Mannerism. The use of knowledge for mutual benefit is thus a key feature that cannot be overlook into the assessment for the image’s role in the promotion of understanding in the Western world. In fact, as a further consideration of the role of shared systems is the related feature of the political stand that the image assumes from the manner in which it is presented. The masterpiece is representative of the Grand Duke’s desire to break from the experiences of the earlier republic and instead pass the message to the followers, who were represented by the Medusa (Toscana). Overall, therefore, the realization that the image constitutes a political transition that was easily passed from one generation to the nest is appealing as a proof of the existence of Western brotherhood.
The boldness of the Western world in addressing issues and presenting controversial views in the open is also characteristic in the statue features. A gross overview of the making of the sculpture presents a Perseus standing on Medusa’s body and holding her head up in the air. In the contemporary world, it is definite that such an image would constitute a major issue of social concern because of the representation of death. It is, however, interested as a positive measure of the humanity in the Western world because regardless of how other people may perceive it, provided it appears to be a binding aspect in the West, it will be represented accordingly. In fact, the nature in which the status is erected further defines an element of humanity and dominance because of the high pedestial that one sees from the adoned bronzes (Kibin). The spectator will be forced to look up into the air and they will see that Perseus is looking towards the ground, which is an indicator of the fact that the image is represented of the courage in the West (Harris and Zucker 1). The last feature under this segment of Western humanity is the appreciation of the nakedness of the statue as it represents the human body in its natural state. While a majority of the rests of the world are tied to strict custom that ensure that nakedness and nudity is a moral sin, the Western world have rarely been tied to such beliefs. The feature thus implies that the West is bonded by the fact that they care less about the perceptions and beliefs of the rest of the world and tend to preset information in the most natural state to ensure that there is social harmony.
In summary it is important to highlight that the masterpiece of Perseus with the Head of Medusa is a perfect example of the use of art in the depiction of humanity in the western world. The primary ways used in describing these bonding features in the assessment of the image are primarily from the gross overview that a spectator gets. The major highlight includes the serpents emerging from all direction to imply the social conflicts and the way they can be addressed. It is further demonstrated from the difficulty in making the statue as it represents the desire to achieve goals. The statue also engages in understanding social harmony in the west because of the desire by the artist to make the sculpture suit his needs and from the fact that it does not factor the opinion of the accusing world based on the controversies highlighted. The last feature that sums the professionalism in the masterpiece in representing Western humanity is the realization of the succession structures and the preservation of art for the future generations. Overall, therefore, the statue explores shared issues in a binding manner to underscore the presence of social mutual coexistence in the Western world.
Harris, Beth, and Steven Zucker. “A Brief History of Western Culture.” Khan Academy (2016): n. pag. Web.
Heilbrunn. “Perseus with the Head of Medusa.” The Met: Timeline of Art History (2011): n. pag. Web.
Kibin. “An Analysis of Perseus with the Head of Medusa.” Arts and humanities conciil. N.p., 2015. Web.
“Perseus with the Head of Medusa by Antonio Canova.” Trip Improver (2010): n. pag. Web.
Sartle. “Perseus with the Head of Medusa.” Sartle. N.p., 2015. Web.
Schack, Emmanuel von. “Perseus with the Head of Medusa.” The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2011): n. pag. Web.
Toscana, Turismo. “Benvenuto Cellini, Perseus with the Head of Medusa.” Sistema Fondazione. N.p., 2016. Web.