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Gorgon Terracotta Mask

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Mask of Gorgon, terracotta fragment reconstructed from a metope of the Selinunte Temple (575 - 570 BC), Palermo, National Museum.

The Medusa Gorgone was a figure from Geek mythology monster-looking with snakes instead of the hair, which had the power to petrify anyone who looked into her eyes. Medusa was closely related to myth of Perseus who managed to kill her by cutting off her head as the only one of the Gorgons was mortal.

The Gorgons, together with the Fauns and the Sileni, were used as amulets placed by the Greeks and Romans outside their houses to protect the exits, frightening the malevolent entities thanks to their monstrous features, often showing the language as an expression of challenge. 

"The metope, the work of indigenous artists, belonged to the decoration of the temple C of Selinunte, sacred to Apollo. Medusa, at least according to the fragments found in 1823 and recomposed in Palermo, also stood out in the pediment of the sacred building, which was not uncommon considering the illustrious precedent of the Temple of Artemis by Corfu(590 BC approx.); however, while in Corfu the Corinthian iconography of Medusa has been fully respected (cf. worksheet 02), in the pediment of the temple of Selinunte was limited to the face / mask only. The metope with respect to the pediment, devoid of any narrative cue, represents Perseus, who, escorted by Athena, is about to decapitate Medusa. While the divinity and the hero have human traits, Medusa completely responds to the Corinthian model, which in Sicily finds a famous attestation in the Syracusan terracotta of about half a century earlier (Cf.worksheet 02): It is depicted with the mouth wide and her tongue on the chin, holding Pegasus or Crisaore under the right arm and running on the knees. The artist, compressing the three figures within a rectangular perimeter, composed a plastic equivalent to the paintings of the coeval painted ceramic, which probably constitutes the most direct reference model. "

Lorenzo Riccardi

Scare your enemies with ancient-style Medusa decoration!

  • Material: terracotta, handmade
  • Suitable for interiors and exteriors
  • Size: ,7"H x 5,5"W x 1,9"T (12 x 14 x 5 cm)
  • Weight: 0,63 lb (290 gr)

Produced in Italy

Order preparation time: 14 working days

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