fragmentation is culturally sanctioned. In Florence, Italy, in the mid-16th
century, artists were invited to create sculptures for public display outside
of city hall which portrayed the theme of the subjugation of women.
Celliniís Perseus and Medusa, 1545-54, depicts a scene from Greek
mythology. Medusa was the snake haired woman whose appearance was so horrid
that any man who gazed upon her would be instantly turned to stone. Perseusí
girlfriend was kidnapped, and the only way to rescue her from the clutches of
the evil sea monster (obviously male) who held her was to show him the head
of Medusa. With the help of the gods, Perseus was able to slice off Medusaís
head and safely transport it back home to show to the sea monster and, in
turn, rescue his girlfriend. In the sculpture, Perseus holds Medusaís head
like a trophy while standing upon her mangled body.
this is a representation of male authority destroying an empowered woman who
threatened male supremacy. In respect to the 16th century (the artistís Geist),
women were advocating equal rights, and public sculptures such as Celliniís,
sought to remind women of their place and what would happen if they threatened
the male dominated order of society.