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Perseus Rescuing Andromeda

Cavaliere D'Arpino (Giuseppe Cesari), Italian, 1568–1640
Oil on lapis lazuli
Made in
Rome, Lazio, Italy, Europe
Paintings, stone & mineral
Current Location
On View, Gallery 236
7 15/16 × 6 1/8 × 1/4 in. (20.2 × 15.6 × 0.7 cm)
framed: 12 1/8 × 9 13/16 × 1 1/16 in. (30.8 × 24.9 × 2.7 cm)
Credit Line
Friends Fund and funds given by Mr. and Mrs. Christian B. Peper, Museum Purchase, Phoebe and Mark Weil, the Kate Stamper Wilhite Charitable Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth F. Teasdale, the Fox Family Foundation, the John M. Olin Charitable Trust, the Scherck Charitable Foundation, the McMillan-Avery Fund of the Saint Louis Community Foundation, the Martha Love Symington Foundation, the John R. Goodall Charitable Trust, Mr. and Mrs. J. Patrick Mulcahy, Mrs. James Lee Johnson Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Knight, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Latzer, Mrs. Janet M. Weakley in honor of James D. Burke, Mrs. Ellen Langsdorf, Mr. and Mrs. William H. T. Bush, the Longmire Fund of the St. Louis Community Foundation, Eleanor C. Johnson, Alice S. Gerdine, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Cramer, BSI Constructors, Inc., David R. Cole in memory of Opal Runzi, The G. A. Jr. and Kathryn M. Buder Charitable Foundation, Dr. and Mrs. William H. Danforth, Charles and Patricia Marshall, The Mungenast Foundation, Inc., Mariko A. Nutt, Robert Brookings Smith, The Sidener Foundation, an anonymous donor, Mr. and Mrs. William F. Schierholz, Mr. and Mrs. William C. Lortz, Sewell A. McMillan, Edith B. Schiele; Barbara Wohltman, Mr. and Mrs. Fielding Lewis Holmes, and Ruth Nelson Kraft in honor of James D. Burke; and donors to the 1999 Art Enrichment Fund
Public Domain
Object Number
This small oval of painted lapis lazuli was created by Giuseppe Cesari, one of the most influential and prominent artists of late-sixteenth-century Rome, who made some of his finest compositions in small-scale. It depicts a story from Ovid's Metamorphoses in which the hero Perseus finds the beautiful Andromeda chained to a rock as punishment for her mother's bragging. Perseus kills the sea monster that is about to devour her and secures the maiden's hand in marriage. The beautifully rendered body of the captured Andromeda, whose golden tresses echo the rich yellow of Perseus's cape, and the masterful handling of the airborne Pegasus exemplify Cesari's talent. Pope Clement VIII was so enthusiastic about Cesari's art that he promoted the artist to the rank of Knight, or Cavaliere, of Christ.
by 1920 - 2000
Private Collection, Switzerland [1]

2000/01/27 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased at auction "Important Old Master Paintings," Christie's, New York, January 27, 2000, lot no. 73 [2]

[1] According to a letter dated February 3, 2003 from Anthony Crichton-Stuart, Senior Vice President of Christie's, the painting had never before been published, and remained in a Swiss private collection for over eighty years until the time that it was consigned to Christie's [e-mail, SLAM document files].

[2] Minutes of the Collections Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, March 9, 2000.
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