The Severed Head of Medusa


Gold, silver

32 × 39.7 × 39.7 cm (12 5/8 × 15 5/8 × 15 5/8 in.)

The face of Medusa, a primordial deity able to turn anyone who looks at her to stone, is frozen in an expression of eternal fury. Her wide-open mouth echoes the gaping hole in her right cheek and the snakes on her head are writhing in a state of impetuous agitation. Her rage follows the beheading of the Gorgon by Perseus, as told by Ovid.

The apotropaic figure of Medusa, in gold and silver and called The Severed Head of Medusa, was a recurring theme in Damien Hirst's "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable". These works, which were also in malachite or crystal, bring to life many mythological themes: horror, fear, sex, death, decapitation, female subjugation and petrification.

Hirst’s The Severed Head of Medusa was first shown by the Pinault Collection in 2017 at the Punta della Dogana.
Damien Hirst's other artwork