Head of Medusa, Peter Paul Rubens

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Head of Medusa by Peter Paul Rubens: A Gorgon's Gaze Frozen in Time

Peter Paul Rubens, the Flemish Baroque master, unveils the mythic terror of Medusa in his compelling painting, "Head of Medusa." Executed with his signature dynamism and emotional depth, this work encapsulates the essence of ancient Greek mythology.

The painting focuses solely on the severed head of Medusa, the infamous Gorgon with snakes for hair and a gaze that turns onlookers to stone. Rubens takes a departure from the full-figure representation, choosing instead to freeze the Gorgon's terrifying countenance in a moment of eternal petrification.

Rubens' mastery of chiaroscuro comes to the fore as he skillfully manipulates light and shadow to accentuate the ghastly features of Medusa's head. The snakes writhe with a palpable sense of menace, their coiled forms adding a sinister texture to the composition. The artist captures the very essence of the myth, where beauty and horror collide in the monstrous visage of Medusa.

The use of color in "Head of Medusa" is strategic, with deep, ominous hues dominating the background. The contrast with the pallor of Medusa's skin and the writhing snakes intensifies the otherworldly quality of the Gorgon's head. The texture of the snakes' scales and the anguish etched on Medusa's face create a tactile and emotional experience for the viewer.

This painting goes beyond a mere depiction of myth; it becomes a psychological exploration of fear and fascination. The onlooker is drawn into the Gorgon's gaze, compelled to confront the grotesque beauty that has both captivated and terrified for centuries.

"Head of Medusa" stands as a testament to Rubens' ability to distill the essence of myth into a single, potent image. It freezes the horror of Medusa's gaze in perpetuity, inviting viewers to grapple with the eternal power of a legendary monster, forever preserved in the haunting brushstrokes of a Baroque master.
Available as a fine art print and as a stretched canvas panel (heavy fine art canvas stretched over 1.5 inch deep edge solid wood frame). 

print materials

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All prints are made using archival art stocks and UV pigment inks to give up to 200 years life. Prints are sold unframed and unmounted.



All orders for unframed fine art prints and original paintings are dispatched within 2 working days of receipt of payment.

Orders for custom framed prints are dispatched within 4 working days.

All orders are fully tracked from dispatch to delivery at your home or business.

All print and original painting orders are fully insured against loss or damage in transit. We refund or replace any damaged or lost orders.

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Size and Printed Materials

Fine art papers are printed without any additional white border Please let us know at the time of ordering if you would like a small additional white border.

Rolled canvas options have an additional white border of approximately 2.5 inches (7cm) on all 4 sides to aid stretching.

Ready to hang canvas panels are stretched on 1.5 inch deep solid pine frames from sustainable forestry sources. The image is mirrored on all 4 sides to give an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Gift Wrap Option

Why not have us gift wrap your order and attach a personalised message to the recipient. Available for all orders. Each order is hand wrapped in high quality gift wrap with meatllic ribbon and bow. Your personalised message is printed on a card which is included with your order.

Have your hand wrapped gift delivered directly to the recipient.

Full tracking and insurance included with every order.

Please note design may vary depending upon availability

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Framing Options - Instructions

We have a wide range of frames in standard sizes and we also make custom size frames.

To order a framed print:

1. select the print size you would like along with the print materials (matte paper, fine art paper).

2. Add your print choice to the basket.

3. Choose from our range of frames

4. Select the same size as the print you have added to your basket. If the frame size you want is not listed please contact us

5. Choose from the mount or no-mount option

6. Add your frame choice to the basket

7. Proceed to checkout.

Why Choose GalleryThane?

  • Printed and framed in-house
  • Free UK delivery
  • Fast international delivery
  • Tracking and insurance included in every order
  • Fast 1-3 day dispatch
  • Gift wrapping service available
  • Gallery quality materials
  • Sustainable, eco-friendly packaging
  • Great customer support

What makes our Prints and Canvas Panels so special

latest wide format pigment ink printers

Latest Giclee Printing Technology

We have invested in the latest wide format print technology to produce museum quality giclee prints utilising the highest quality pigment inks to give outstanding colour reproduction.

museum quality fine art papers

Museum Quality Archival Fine Art Papers

We print on the finest quality fine art papers with textured, smooth and lustre finishes for prints which last a lifetime.

From aceo miniatures to 40x80 inch large format, every print has our lifetime quality guaranteee.

cotton canvas stretched over solid wood frame

Solid Wood Frames, Cotton Canvas

All of the wood for our canvas panels and frames is responsibly sourced from manages forests. Our cotton canvas is completely seedless for the highest quality reproduction possible.

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