bust of a woman with a cluster of small snakes at the front of her head, wings at the side of her head; intertwined snakes below her breasts

Medusa, c. 1854

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At a time when less than 1 percent of American women went to college, Harriet Goodhue Hosmer studied anatomy and moved to Rome to study sculpture. In 1858 she established her own sculpture studio in Rome, leading a team of more than twenty men. Hosmer often depicted strong female figures. In Greek mythology, Medusa was a beautiful woman whom the gods transformed into a Gorgon, a creature with snakes for hair, whose gaze turned those who looked at her to stone. Hosmer’s compassionate rendering shows Medusa’s transformation in progress, snakes intertwined with her lovely hair.

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Hosmer, Medusa Bust (#226)
Details
Title
Medusa
Artist Life
American, 1830-1908
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2003.125
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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bust of a woman with a cluster of small snakes at the front of her head, wings at the side of her head; intertwined snakes below her breasts