Door knocker in the form of Medusa’s head, 1925


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Atherton Beanexpand_more  83.31

Not on Viewexpand_more

In Greek mythology, Medusa was a horrible monster, which would turn anyone looking her in the face into stone. The hero Perseus eventually beheaded her by avoiding her gaze and looking at her mirror image on his shield. Rodin's student and friend Bourdelle chose to revive an ancient tradition, according to which Medusa was particularly beautiful, and her beastly nature is only alluded to by the snakes mingled amongst her tresses. This superimposition of the terrible and the terrific, of the attractive and the repulsive very much responds to the theme of the femme fatale, which was popular in European culture of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Door knocker in the form of Medusa’s head
Artist Life
1861 - 1929
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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