Arts & Culture

Perseus slaying Medusa

Laurent Marqueste1876/1903

Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Marqueste has chosen the dramatic climax of the Greek myth according to which Perseus raises his sword to strike, while taking a firm grip of snake infested hair, so that he can avoid her petrifying gaze. Both Roman and Florentine sculpture have given sustenance to Marqueste’s pursuit of movement and violence in the work. French salon sculpture marks the transition between traditional sculpture and the modern. The dream of Antiquity, to bring sculpture “to life”, seems finally to have been realised. The bodies of stone have become weightless figures, and the borders between the body of art and that of the human being are on the way to erasure.

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