|The cast is of a large marble relief showing Perseus and Andromeda which is now in the Capitoline Museum in Rome. It is an eclectic Roman composition generally dated to the second century AD and seemingly based on sculpted models. The cast was given to the Royal Academy by Charles Townley in 1794. |
According to Greek legend, Queen Cassiopeia angered the sea god Poseidon by claiming that she (or in some versions her daughter Andromeda) was more beautiful than the Nereids. As punishment Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack her land. The only way that the monster could be averted was by the chaining of Andromeda to a rock in the sea as a sacrifice. The hero Perseus saw the abandoned Andromeda and came to her rescue. Here he holds out his hand to guide her to safety over the body of the slain monster.