|The Head of Medusa, ca. 1600, Uffzi Gallery, Florence Italy
~ by Percy Bysshe Shelley
Shelly tragically drowned in 1822 during a storm long before the 20th Century debate that this painting is in fact attributed to an anonymous Florentine painter and not Leonardo Da Vinci. The Head of Medusa was attributed to Leonardo by his biographer, Luigi Lanzi based primarily on his description of the work given by Vasari in The Lives of the Artists, p. 258-261 there are two separate Medusa painting stories. The painting in the Florentine Gallery is about the the Medusa make of oils and described as being "...kept among the fine works of art in the palace of Duke Cosimo...". The first story was about a "Buckler" (essentially a shield). To read about the Medusa stories online check out the Full Text 'Stories of the Italian Artists From Vasari' starting with story 147. Shelly would have had no way of knowing this was not Leonardo's work, however as always Shelley's work is wonderful.
Two additional Medusa images which I love are below:
|Medusa, 1598-99, Oil on Canvas on Mounted Wood, Caravaggio, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
|Head of Medusa, c. 1617-18, Color on Canvas, Peter Paul Rubens, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria