Benvenuto Cellini Unveiling His Statue of Perseus with the Head of Medusa, (painting)
Kirkpatrick, Frank L. b. 1853
Appears in exhibition catalog as entry no. 321
"b. Philadelphia, 1853. Pupil of the Bavarian Royal Academy, of Professors Strachuber, Ferdinand Barth, and Anton Seitz, Munich. first exhibited, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Phila- delphia, 1880. " Benevenuto Cellini unveiling his statue of Perseus with the head of the Medusa. While this scene is purely ideal - the circumstance of the unveiling of the statue having occurred with very different surroundings - the composition is so admirable, and the coloring so rich and glowing, that we may even feel thankful to Mr. Kirkpatrick for treating the subject from a poetical rather than a literally true standpoint. There is something very Turneresque in the coloring of this picture, and the representation of the rare, costly marbles, the superb tapestries, and all the gorgeous accessories is wonderfully effective. The figures, too, are well grouped, well drawn, and are full of character. - Louisville Courier-Journal. " Benevenuto Cellini was a celebrated sculptor who lived in Florence (b. 1500; d. 1570.) his statue of Perseus with the head of the Medusa (in bronze) was modeled at the instance of Cosimo de Medici, and now stands in the Loggia Dei Lanzi in Florence. It was one of Cellini's greatest works. " Medusa was a beautiful maiden, who, having with Poseidon profaned the Temple of Athena, that goddess caused the hairs on her head to become snakes, while to her face was given the power of turning every thing it looked upon to stone. Perseus, when he reached manhood, resolved to slay Medusa, and received assistance to that end from the Graeae - three strange beings having in common one eye and one tooth. They provided him with winged Sandals, a magic wallet, and the helmet of hades, which rendered the wearer invisible. Hermes added a curved sword, and Athena gave him a mirror. Perseus when he came near Medusa, looked at her figure in the mirror - by which means he preserved himself from petrification - and then, making himself invisible, was enabled to slay her. Perseus, after performing various miraculous feats in which he employed Medusa's head to advantage, presented it to Athena, who fixed it upon her breast- plate." [P. 65.]
Illustrated Catalogue of Works of Art in the Art Building of the Southern Exposition at Louisville, Ky. August 16 - October 25, 1884. Prepared by Charles M. Kurtz, Director of the Art Department. Editor of National Academy Notes and the Art Union Magazine. Published for the Art Committee by John P. Morton and Company.