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Lord Leighton PRA, Sketch model of Perseus and Pegasus for the painting 'Perseus and Andromeda'

Sketch model of Perseus and Pegasus for the painting 'Perseus and Andromeda', ca. 1890

Lord Leighton PRA (1830 - 1896)

RA Collection: Art

In 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 chaining Andromeda to a rock in the sea as a sacrifice. Perseus saw the abandoned Andromeda as he travelled by on his winged horse and came to her rescue by slaying the monster.

This plaster study is a model for the figure of Perseus and Pegasus in Leighton's 1891 painting 'Perseus and Andromeda' (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool). In this painting Leighton depicted the vital moment when Perseus saved the princess.

In an interview in The Studio (1893, p. 7) Leighton explained the role that his small sculptural studies played in the composition of his paintings:

‘“these models are clad with real drapery wetted to increase the effect of its fineness in proportion to the small scale of the folds” and are made only for the sake of ten minutes drawings, the serious study of the drapery being made from the living model or the lay figure. They help also to facilitate the disposition of the grouping, but are done with as soon as the cartoon is ready for tracing.’

Object details

Sketch model of Perseus and Pegasus for the painting 'Perseus and Andromeda'
Lord Leighton PRA (1830 - 1896)
ca. 1890
Object type

394 mm x 464 mm x 642 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Given by Augusta Matthews 1896 and Mrs Alexandra Orr 1896
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