The Rape of Europa
|Date||second half of the 16th century|
30 × 23 × 8 cm, 3 kg
|On view||This artwork is on view at the permanent exhibition|
In Greek mythology, Poseidon, god of the sea, sent the sea monster Cetus to attack the city of the Ethiopian king, Cepheus. According to the oracle, the daughter of the king would have to be sacrificed to get rid of the monster. Therefore, Andromeda was chained to a rock near the sea. Having found
her there, Perseus used the head of a slain Gorgon to turn Cetus into stone. Perseus then married Andromeda. Portrayals of Andromeda’s story were popular in Italian Renaissance art; the composition seen here is the work of a German sculptor, inspired by Italian nudes. For a more vivid impression, various types of stone were used, and several details were even painted.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.