Perseus frees Andromeda from Piero de Cosimo

Perseus frees Andromeda from Piero de Cosimo
Perseus frees Andromeda from Piero de Cosimo

Piero de Cosimo(1462 – 1521) is a very peculiar artist within theRenaissanceand his evolution towards the Mannerism. He is a creator with his own world, a very peculiar imaginary, which is undoubtedly due to his particular personality. In fact, he was a character especially gifted for portraiture, but he only dedicated himself to it when he needed some money to survive. And it is said that he managed to do just enough, since it seemed that the only thing that fed him was painting obsessively, or at least that is how Giorgio Vasari presents it to us in his famous Artists Life.


Perseus frees Andromeda from Piero de Cosimo

What is certain is that Piero de Cosimo never had the favor and orders of the most powerful family in Florence, the Medicis,the great patrons of his time. And that's why he painted at his whim, without depending on any commissioner, except when he accepted the work of a portrait.

In some way, he is a kind of cursed artist, who paints in solitude, and creates canvases in which he overturns his particular universe with the strangest beings and surely only understandable by himself. Something that unites him with Bosch's contemporary, or with a painter of a later generation such as Arcimboldo.

An example of this is this canvas that he made around the year 1510 and which is currently exhibited in theGallery of theFlorence Ufizzi.

In it, she tells us the story ofPerseus and Andromeda. Perseus according to mythology was made of Zeus and Danae, and was the character who had to defeat the evil Medusa. A sea monster that frightened the things of Phenicia. The fact is that Perseus managed to win by decapitating the monster, and when he returned he saw how Andromeda had been tied to a stone to satisfy Medusa. He obviously freed her from her and not only that, but by uniting with her he was going to create the Perseid dynasty in Mycenae.

All this has been narrated by countless artists, from the Venetian Titian to the German neoclassical Mengs, passing through the baroque art of Flemish Rubens. Well, of all of them, one of the most peculiar versions is that of Piero de Cosimo. A scene that is one of the least attached to a realistic vision (taking into account the narrated mythological events).

In short, it is not strange that the images of this painter were not especially appreciated in his time. But in return, they were widely studied several centuries later, by creators as peculiar as the artists who made up the Surrealism movement.

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