Perseus and Medusa

With a promising plot that gets more complicated as the story progresses the myth of Perseus and Medusa is one of the best thriller in Greek Mythology .

Perseus holding Medusa's head by Benvenuto Cellini- Florence Italy
Perseus holding Medusa’s head.

Perseus and the Oracle

When Acrisius, the king of Argos, was told by the oracle of Delphi that his own grandson to be born of his daughter DANAE would kill him one day he decided to deprive his daughter of any possible intercourse, mating and child bearing. He built a room under the earth and imprisoned Danae there.

Here comes Zeus again !

Unfortunately, ZEUS – who had a bad habit to fall in love with pretty mortals – had become crazy for the lovely Danae. The king of gods materialized inside the underground room – it’s good to be the king – and made love to her under the form of golden rain. From their union Perseus was born.

Acrisius, very unhappy, set his daughter and grandchild to die on a small bark on the open sea. They eventually landed on an island where they were saved and adopted by a local couple.

A few years later, the local king Polydectes, wanting to marry Danae decided, to get rid of Perseus to send on an impossible mission : to bring him the head of the gorgon Medusa.

Medusa mosaic,1st or 2nd century AD. National Museum of Rome Baths of Diocletian Rome
Bath of Diocletian, Rome

Medusa and Perseus

Medusa was one of three Gorgon sisters who once had been beautiful maidens. So beautiful in fact that Poseidon had once fallen for Medusa, who did not care at all for him. Now you do not turn down the god of the seas ! When she rejected him Poseidon turned her and her sisters into monsters with live snakes covering their heads. And whoever dared to look into Medusa’s eyes ended up being turned into stone.

Medusa mosaic, Alexandria, Egypt, 2nd - 3rd century AD
Alexandria, Egypt

Saved by Athena and Hermes

ATHENA and HERMES gave Perseus a coat of invisibility, winged sandals to fly to the end of the world where the gorgons lived, a sword and a mirrored shield.

This mirror allowed him to chop Medusa’s head without looking directly at her and being turned into stone.

Medusa mosaic, 2nd century AD,Palencia, Spain
Medusa mosaic, Palencia, Spain

Perseus escaped Medusa’s sisters and flew back home. For a while, he used Medusa’s head as a weapon until he gave it to Athena to place it on her shield.

2nd century mosaic of Medusa's head, baths of Diocletian.
2nd century, baths of Diocletian, Rome.

A powerful source of inspiration

The myth of Perseus and Medusa was one the most powerful inspiration for many artists in the ancient times, but it hasn’t lost its artistic significance to the present day either.

Paintings and sculptures of the moment of beheading or Medusa’s portrait itself are famous all over the world.

One of the most known art work is the Medusa shield by Caravaggio, painted at the end of the 16th century. It is exposed in the Uffizi museum in Florence.

Medusa's head by Caravaggio - Florence, Italy
Medusa by Caravaggio

Medusa mosaic table

In 2011 I created my own version of Medusa’s portrait mounted on a  table which legs represent the mythic winged horse Pegasus. Some good friends and collectors of mine are now enjoying it.

Medusa table by mosaicist frederic Lecut
Medusa table by Frederic Lecut.

Five Medusa’s heads

In September 2018 I started working on a line of designs based upon :

  • my studies of Roman mosaics and
  • Roman frescoes
  • my own mosaics.

My goal is to reproduce them on various objects to bring to the public the beauty of those often unknown wonderful pieces of art and craftsmanship.

Medusa square design by artist Frederic Lecut
Medusa square by Frederic Lecut.

This Medusa square includes 5 versions of the Gorgon’s head. My own version at the center is surrounded by 4 medallions of actual Roman mosaics from Spain, Italy, Greece and Egypt.

Scarves, mugs, pillows and many other products printed with this design are available on my RedBubble page.

Medusa square printed products
Click on the image to shop Medusa square products

Natural Silk Scarves

In 2019 I will offer silk scarves printed with my own designs inspired by mosaic and frescoes. I have sent my designs to several companies in America, Asia and Europe to be printed in order to evaluate the quality of their work. the first 3 samples I received are really encouraging.

Scarf printed with Great Peristyle mosaic patterns
Grand Peristyle scarf

Ladybug cartoon by Gttlieb

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