Andromeda and the Sea Monster

Object Details

Title:

Andromeda and the Sea Monster

Artist/Maker:

Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi (Italian, 1656 - 1740)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Italy (Place created)

Date:

designed before 1717; cast about 1725

Medium:

Bronze on grey-green marble bases with bronze mounts

Object Number:

97.SB.61.1

Dimensions:

49.6 × 33.3 × 20.7 cm (19 1/2 × 13 1/8 × 8 1/8 in.)

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Andromeda & Leda

As a sea monster lunges towards her, the nude Andromeda recoils, straining against the chains that tie her to the rocky ledge. Her hair blows behind her, indicating sudden movement. The sharp angles of her eyebrows and nose express anxiety, while the diagonal of her body expresses the repulsion she feels towards the growling beast.

Andromeda and the Sea Monsterdepicts a dramatic moment from the ancient Greek author Euripides' tale of Andromeda and Perseus. Andromeda's mother angered the gods with her boast that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, the attendants of the god of the sea, Poseidon. To appease the offended Poseidon, who threatened to destroy their entire kingdom, Andromeda's parents sacrificed their daughter by leaving her where she would be devoured by his monster. As Andromeda awaits the monster, chained to a rock, Perseus flies overhead, falls instantly in love with her, and rescues her by slaying the beast. Massimiliano Soldani Benzi's interpretation of the story is unusual because he focused on Andromeda's horror at the monster instead of on her rescue.

Related Works
Provenance
1725 - still in 1767

Possibly Senator Francesco Giovacchino Buondelmonti, 1689 - 1774 (Florence)

- 1964

Julius Goldschmidt (London, England), sold to Gerald Burdon, June 1964.

1964 - 1997

Gerald Burdon (Onslow Square, London, England), sold through Joanna Barnes Fine Arts, London to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997.

Exhibitions
Il Trionfo delle Bell'Arti (1767) (p. 13.)
  • SS. Annunziata (Florence), 1767
The Twilight of the Medici: Late Baroque Art in Florence, 1670 - 1743 (1974) (pp. 108 - 109, no. 70.)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), March 27 to June 2, 1974
  • Palazzo Pitti (Florence), June 28 to September 30, 1974
Princely Patrons and Enlightened Entrepreneurs (November 6, 2005 to April 1, 2006)
  • Liechtenstein Museum (Vienna), November 6, 2005 to January 29, 2006
Il fasto e la ragione Arte del Settecento a Firenze (May 30 to December 13, 2009)
  • Gallerie degli Uffizi (Florence), May 30 to December 13, 2009
Bibliography

Bonsi, Bonso Pio. Il trionfo delle bell'arti: renduto gloriosissimo sotto gli auspicj delle LL. AA. RR. Pietro Leopoldo, arciduca d'Austria, principe reale d'Ungheria, e di Boemia, granduca di Toscana ec. ec. ec. e Maria Luisa di Borbone, arciduchessa d'Austria, gran-duchessa di Toscana, ec. ec. ec. in occasione, che gli accademici del disegno in dimostrazione di profondo rispetto verso i lor sovrani, fanno la solenne mostra delle opere antiche di più eccellenti artifici nella propria cappella, e nel chiostro secondo de' PP. della SS. Nonziata in Firenze l'anno 1767, exh. cat. (Florence: Gio. Batista Stecchi and Anton Giuseppe Pagani, 1767), p. 13.

The Twilight of the Medici: Late Baroque Art in Florence, 1670-1743 (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1974), pp. 108-9, no. 70, ill.

Gli Ultimi Medici: Il tardo barocco a Firenze, 1670-1743 (Florence: Centro Di, 1974), pp. 108-9, no. 70, ill.

Roethlisberger, Marcel G. "Le thème de Léda en sculpture." Genava 35 (1987), p. 75.

Pratesi, Giovanni. Repertorio della scultura fiorentina del seicento e settecento (Turin: Umberto Allemandi & C., 1993), p. 101, pl. 538.

Avery, Charles. "The Pedestals, Frames, Mounts and Presentation of Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi's Bronze Statuettes and Reliefs." Furniture History 31 (1995), p. 9; p. 10, fig. 2; p. 20, nn. 12-13.

Lankheit, Klaus. "Massimiliano Soldani (Benzi)." In The Dictionary of Art. Jane Turner, ed. Vol. 29 (London: Macmillan Publishers Limited, 1996), p. 30.

Fogelman, Peggy, and Peter Fusco, with Marietta Cambareri. Italian and Spanish Sculpture: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002), pp. 277-85, no. 35, ill.

Fogelman, Peggy, and Peter Fusco, with Marietta Cambareri. Italian and Spanish Sculpture: Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002), pp. 277-285, ills. 35-35C.

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    Audio: Andromeda and the Sea-Monster (Angels and Demons)