Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones, Bt

The Call of Perseus; Perseus and the Graiae; Perseus and the Nereids

1875–6

On display at Tate Britain

Medium
Gouache, gold paint and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 367 x 1027 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1919
Reference
N03456

Display caption

At the beginning of his quest for the head of Medusa, Perseus receives help from the goddess Athena, although at first he spurns her words of advice. She gives him a sword and a mirror to protect him from the Gorgon, whose glance turns men to stone. He next proceeds to the three Graiae, who collectively share a single tooth and a single eye, which Perseus snatches from them in order to gain information about where he can find the sea nymphs. After he discovers the cave of the nymphs, they bestow on him the winged sandals of Hermes, the helmet of invisibility and a bag in which to carry Medusa's head.

Gallery label, July 1993