The composition is dedicated to one of the most renown Perseus’ feats, a hero of the Greek mythology. Flying over Ethiopia, Perseus noticed a beautiful lady chained to a rock in the sea. She turned out to be Andromeda, the princess of this land. Her mother Cassiopeia had been boasting of her own beauty among the nymphs making them jealous; for her pride they sent a sea dragon to devastate the land of her kingdom. Only by sacrificing the daughter of the king could its people be saved.
Perseus fell in love with Andromeda from first sight, and after learning that she was not guilty of her people’s destiny, he decided to save her at any cost. The composition depicts the culmination of Perseus’ fight with the monster – though the viewer never sees it, as the dragon is present here only as a relief on the hero’s shield. We see Perseus flying over a rock, showing gorgona’s head to an invisible enemy and carrying away the frightened princess with him. This story is not about killing another monster in his long and captivating life. This is a feat of love, and for this reason the sculpture focuses solely on Perseus and Andromeda.
The feeling of flight represents a certain challenge for an artist; in this sculpture it is realized via shifting the center of gravity of the composition sideways and maintaining minimal contact of bodies with solid ground. Both characters levitate fully in air by touching the rock only by Perseus’ foot.