Ufizzi Gallery- Caravaggio’s Medusa

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Going into the Ufizzi was pretty exciting considering all the wonderful works inside, and recognizing a few I’ve seen on the internet. One that i was happy to find here was Caravaggio’s Medusa. He actually made 2, a yea apart, though this is the second one he painted in 1597. Its a picture o the mythical woman/creature Medusa. It’s said Medusa was monster with a woman’s face and hair made up of snakes that had the power to transform into stone anyone who looked. Perseus was able to behead watching her reflection in a polished bronze shield as a mirror. Caravaggio took advantage of the convex shape of the shield to accentuate the dramatic character of the depiction. Although it’s already been beheaded, the blood is still gushing from the neck, indicating Medusa’s still alive, giving the big expression of the eyes spinning terrified and mouth wide open. The image is very realistic by some details such as visible teeth. The white of the teeth and her eyes stands out even more by the contrast with the neighboring areas of shadow, indicating a light source. As well as the vipers, which Caravaggio studied from life emerge from the general tangle of bodies thanks to expert-light shots. The shield was given to Grand Duke Ferdinando I by Cardinal Francesco Maria del Monte, a Medici agent at the papal court in Rome, in 1598.The subject

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