Gorgon Medusa - Terracotta Mask
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Maschera di gorgone in terracotta
Gorgon Terracotta Mask
Maschera greca di gorgone in terracotta
Maschera etrusca gorgone in terracotta

Gorgon Terracotta Mask

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Mask of Gorgon, terracotta detail reconstructed from a metope from the Temple of Selinunte (575 - 570 BC), Palermo, National Museum.

The Medusa Gorgon was a figure of mythology Greek monstrous looking with snakes instead of hair, which had the power to petrify anyone who looked into her eyes. Medusa was closely related to myth of Perseus who managed to kill her by cutting off her head as the only one of the Gorgons to be mortal.

The Gorgons, together with the Fauns and the Silenians, were used as subjects placed outside their homes by the Greeks and Romans to protect the doors, frightening the malevolent entities thanks to their monstrous features, often showing the language as an expression of challenge. 

"The metope, the work of indigenous artists, belonged to the decoration of the temple C of Selinunte, sacred to Apollo. Medusa, at least according to the fragments found in 1823 and recomposed in Palermo, also stood out in the pediment of the sacred building, a fact not uncommon considering the illustrious precedent of the Temple of Artemis in Corfu (590 BC ca.); however, while in Corfu the Corinthian iconography of Medusa was fully respected (Cf. opera card 02), in the pediment of the temple of Selinunte it was limited only to the face / mask. The metope with respect to the pediment, devoid of any narrative cue, represents Perseus, who, escorted by Athena, is about to behead Medusa. While the divinity and the hero have human traits, Medusa fully responds to the Corinthian model, which in Sicily finds a famous attestation in the Syracusan terracotta of about half a century earlier (cf.opera card 02): she is depicted with her mouth widened and her tongue on her chin, holding Pegasus or Chrysaore under her right arm and running on her knees. The artist, by compressing the three figures within a rectangular perimeter, has composed a plastic equivalent to the paintings of the contemporary painted ceramics, which probably constitutes the most direct reference model. "

Lorenzo Riccardi

Scare your enemies with the old-style Medusa decoration!

  • Material: terracotta, handmade
  • Suitable for indoors and outdoors
  • Dimensions: 4,7"H x 5,5"W x 1,9"T (12 x 14 x 5 cm)
  • Weight: 0,63 lb (290 gr)

Product in Italy

  Find out more about how to display it in your space



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