CELLINI, Benvenuto
(b. 1500, Firenze, d. 1571, Firenze)

Perseus with the Head of Medusa

Bronze, height 550 cm
Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence

The sculpture shows Perseus, holding the head of the Medusa which he has cut off and from whose blood the winged horse Pegasus will be born. This masterpiece in bronze was sculpted between 1545 and 1554 for the Loggia dei Lanzi (an open-air gallery) and has stood there ever since. The sculpture can be considered as the reult of a direct competition with Donatello's earlier sculpture, Judith and Holophernes.

The modelling of the statuettes in bronze on the marble base is so exquisitely done that it suggests the precision of the goldsmith rather than the sculptor's art.