128 × 106 cm. Naples, National Archaeological Museum, Hall LXXIIInv. No. 8998.Photo by Luigi Spina
128 × 106 cm.
Inv. No. 8998.
Naples, National Archaeological Museum, Hall LXXII
(Napoli, Museo archeologico nazionale di Napoli, Sala LXXII)
Perseus and Andromeda, from Pompeii, House of the Dioscuri (VI, 9, 6)inv. 8998
In the land of the Ethiopians Perseus has killed the monster to whom Andromeda was doomed in expiation of the hubris of her mother Cassiopea, who had dared to claim to be more beautiful than the Nereids (see the vase on p. 80). The girl, freed from the chains which bound her — we still see one shackle round her left wrist — steps down majestically from the cliff, supported by the hero, also portrayed in a statuary pose with his sickle and the head of Medusa.
The pyramidal layout of the composition and the conception of the figures undoubtedly reflect the Greek original, which is probably to be ascribed to Niki as, the famous Athenian painter of the late classical period. Six other versions are known to us in Pompeii.
However, the treatment of the light, the softness of the fabrics, and the accentuation of the skilful use of colour which sets the light and dark shades in the foreground against those in the background, are all traits of the Roman reelaboration.
Datable to the Flavian era, IV style.