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Painting of the Month - Medusa

With Caravaggio’s Birthday on the 28th September, the painting I would like to share with you this month is ‘Head of The Medusa’ after Caravaggio 1597/98.

Caravaggio was the master at recording the precise moment of dramatic climax, what is known as ‘the lightning strike’. This painting depicts the decapitated head of Medusa, with snakes for hair entwined together, her mouth wide open and a look of absolute shock in her eyes. Deftly, Caravaggio captures her last, terrible grimace frozen upon her face, with the decapitated head almost appearing to float in front of an emerald green background.

Caravaggio painted two versions of ‘The Head of Medusa’. The first is in a private collection, the second in the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence, one of the best galleries in the world to visit, in one of the most wonderful cities. I have visited there many times to tread the very same streets that so many of my favourite artists trod once upon a time, a surreal and humbling experience.

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