Medusa Head - Rubens. Canvas, oil
Having depicted the head of the mythical Gorgon Medusa, Rubens achieved what he wanted - he scared, shocked, “impressed” his contemporaries, and admittedly, he did it expertly. But the artist’s plan was not as simple as it might seem.
The plot Peter Paul borrowed from his "idol" and teacher - Caravaggio. The bloodied head of the mythical monster, with still alive snakes instead of hair, capable of turning all living things to stone after death, was chosen by the great Rubens as a sign of warning to his compatriots about a hidden threat emanating from a seemingly past danger.
The picture, at the same time, amazes with an abundance of details, with the thoroughness of drawing objects, moving snakes and insects, as in a very good still life of Dutch masters. Gorgon's face is distorted by a grimace of pain, her eyes are wide open from fear of a terrible death, more and more new bastards are born from the drops of her blood and spread to the sides. Before us is a picture-allegory, a picture-sign, a picture-warning?