Previously: The many abductions of Ganymede.
Right-ho, so the abduction of Andromeda was a majorly popular artistic motif during the early modern era for reasons of “babes in chains are fun to draw,” but there’s a really wonderful sliding scale of what Perseus’ rescue looked like, depending on how much the artist felt like he’d gotten the hang of those winged sandals. Here are some of their efforts:
This one is better than some, in that Andromeda is effectively chained to the rock, but Perseus appears less to be battling Cetus than crashing like Icarus into the sea, so. Also Andromeda appears deeply unconcerned about the battle’s outcome? Like, “Perseus is cute, but Cetus has a lot of really good qualities too.” And maybe he does!
There are a lot of superfluous extras just milling around and…handing bits of coral to each other? Also, Andromeda is turning away in what looks like sheer indifference. “Excuse me, but you should really ask before unchaining someone.”
This one’s nice, you know? He’s wearing what appears to be fifteenth-century plate armor (someone feel free to correct me on the specifics), but she actually seems grateful that someone’s untying her. Overall all the necessary elements are in place. Three and a half out of five stars.
Again with the gratuitous putti! And Andromeda’s face is so carefully impassive while she avoids making eye contact; this is how you interact with that guy you’re afraid to say no to directly on the bus but you pray doesn’t follow you off at your stop, you know? “Hahahahahahah this is fine we’re all having fun here but please leave me alone” buys guy, you know how it is.
There is SIGNIFICANT EYE CONTACT going on between Andromeda and the dog-dragon here, and I am deeply concerned for Perseus’ seat on, I guess, Pegasus? Which is weird, that someone decided to conflate Perseus with Bellerophon, but stranger things have happened, I suppose.
“EXCUSE ME BUT YOU ARE GETTING WATER ALL OVER MY CLIT SASH”
A few thoughts:
- That is the least chained anyone has ever been to a rock
- What a remarkably ineffective suit of armor! Low collar, cap sleeves, no pants, helmet, iron miniskirt, massive shield that has to weigh at least a hundred fucking pounds on one arm!
- And, like, he is so confident in the Medusa-head’s effectiveness that he is languidly making out while the world’s angriest whale charges directly at his unprotected ankles! Perseus! At least GLANCE OVER to check the sea monster dies before tonguing this gal!
oh god, don’t let him see me, I’d rather drown than go home with either of them
That’s a thin hair ribbon chaining her to the rock. Walk away, girl.
HIS ONLY ARMOR IS THE FRONT HALF OF A HAT AND SHE IS CHAINED TO EXACTLY NOTHING, THESE ARE JUST TWO NUDE PEOPLE SHAKING HANDS OVER A MONSTER’S CORPSE
More “sullen languishing” than “awaiting rescue.”
“Sorry, were you defeating something? I didn’t catch it. Had something on my heel. Or, I mean, I thought I had something on my heel. It’s hard to tell.”
SOLID. She’s chained up with an actual chain and Perseus is wielding an undeniable sword against an actual beast. All the elements are there!
“That’s…thanks so much, for the killing, and you seem really sweet, but please don’t touch me. But thank you!! But don’t touch me.”
Flawless. Exactly how I imagined it went down. Angry squatting Gibson Girl, mustachioed, bubble-butted Perseus with a single wooden rod for a weapon, the crocodile from the cartoon version of Peter Pan. As true now as it was then.
Mallory is an Editor of The Toast.