ANDROMEDA – Rutilio Manetti 1612
Chained by her wrists to a rock, Andromeda gazes with terror at the sea, where a monster threateningly opens its jaws; in the background, in the sky, Purseus appears on the winged horse Pegasus. According to the mythological account, Andromeda‘s mother, Cassiopea, the wife of the Ethiopian king Cepheus, boasted that her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids, arousing the wrath of the gods. In revenge, Poseidon , who had married Amphitrite, one of the Nereids, flooded the country and sent a sea monster to ravage it. On the advice of an Oracle, Andromeda was then exposed on a rock in order to appease the gods. As he flew overhead, Perseus was attracted by the maiden’s beauty and, having slain the sea monster, bore her away with him. The saving of Andromeda from the sea monster, was a favorite theme in the early 17th century art; a painting by Titian featuring the same subject inspired many other artists.
The provenance of this painting to the Borghese Gallery, datable to 1612 is unknown; it was attributed to Annibale Caracci in the Borghese gallery inventory of 1693. The discovery in 1932 of an engraving after this painting that specified the artist’s name allowed it to be ascribed to Rutilio Manetti.