This work, done in oil and on canvas, was painted Petrus Paulus Rubens in the year 1622 and is now part of the Baroque painting collection of theHermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Within the vast pictorial production of Rubens, with countless portraits and scenes of a religious nature, of course there is also a high number of works dedicated to the themes of classical mythology, and the character of Perseus stars in some of these works, such as this one in the Saint Petersburg museum or others preserved in the Prado in Madrid or the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.
Perseus and Andromeda by Rubens
In this case, he does not present it to us as would be usual in the most prototypical Baroque painting, that is, the culminating and most dramatic moment which would be precisely the moment of the vibrant fight with Medusa to save Andromeda's life. If not, he already places the scene at a time after the triumph, however the defeated monster is remembered with the shield that Perseus carries. A shield that immediately reminds us of the curious Medusa painting by the Italian Caravaggio.
Actually, although the scene should be much calmer and calmer, everything has almost the rhythm of that fight and is conceived with great drama. For example, his horse Pegasus is still alert and ready, asit still remains with its wings spread. While the figure of Glory descends from the heavens to crown Perseus.
All the character, strength and temperament of the mythological hero can be seen in his extraordinarily curved and powerful legs. A fully armed figure, which immediately contrasts with Andromeda's naked body.
A woman with all the prototypes of beauty that abound in the works of Rubens and whose maximum exponent could be the women in his painting The Three Graces of him
Here again it is about a light-skinned woman, a robust body and yet it seems to be only air and light. Logically Perseus is immediately captivated by such beauty, and after his victory he will be rewarded with Andromeda's love.
That is the true message of the work, since they always wanted to launch some kind of indoctrination with this type of scenes taken from mythological stories. And in this case it was about capturing how, after a heroic struggle, freedom and well-being were finally conquered.