CANOVA, Antonio
(b. 1757, Possagno, d. 1822, Venezia)

Perseus with the Head of Medusa (detail)

1804-06
Marble
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The motif of the severed head of Medusa teeming with snakes became one of the most characteristic subjects for cameos. The image of the head perfectly suits the round field of a tondo. Like many other Neoclassical Medusa heads, Canova's is based on the ancient marble mask the Rondanini Medusa (Glyptothek, Munich).