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The story of Perseus and Andromeda is told in Ovid’s 'Metamorphoses'. Queen Cassiopeia, wife of Cepheus, King of Joppa, boasted that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs, the Nereids. Neptune, god of the sea, angry at this insult, sent a sea monster to destroy Cepheus’s kingdom. Andromeda was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to appease the monster, but was rescued by Perseus whom she later married. The picture was one of six poesie devised for Philip II, King of Spain. It later belonged to the sculptor Pompeo Leoni (1533–1608), Van Dyck, the Regent, Philippe, duc d’Orléans, Philippe ‘Egalité’, duc d’Orléans, the Duke of Bridgewater, the Earl of Carlisle and the Earl of Gower. The condition of the painting has suffered greatly since the sixteenth century, although the grandeur of his original conception still has the power to impress.

The Wallace Collection



Perseus and Andromeda


probably 1554–1556


oil on canvas


H 173 x W 186.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford, 1815; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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