"The mere knowledge that such a work could be created and still exists in the world makes me feel twice the person I was" —Goethe, Italian Journey
This pendant is an extremely accurate 3D laser-scanned, 3D printed, and hand-cast reduction of the overlife-size Medusa Rondanini, a fifth-century BC Greek work. It’s the oldest-known "beautiful gorgoneion" depiction of the mythological monster slain by Perseus. It is thought to have been copied from a guilded bronze aegis that once hung in the Acropolis, where it would have been meant to ward off evil and bad luck.
The Medusa Rondanini appears to borrow the idealized likeness of Athena of Velletri, wreathed in decorative snakes and delicate owl wings—Chthonic dread and death mixed with Olympian beauty and cunning.
While on display in the Palazzo Rondanini in Rome, it was noticed and first brought to the attention of Northern European art connoisseurs in the 1780s by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who wrote, "I would say something about it if everything one could say about such a work were not a waste of breath."
In 2013 I spent a week working at the Skulpturhalle Basel plaster cast museum in Basel, Switzerland, where I 3D laser-scanned a high fidelity 19th-century plaster cast of the original Medusa Rondanini. I’ve now prepared the resulting 3D data—the first of its kind—for 3D printing wax patterns which are then hand cast in a variety of precious and semi-precious metals in the traditional lost-wax casting method.
The 2,500 year-old marble is currently housed at the Munich Glyptothek museum, but you can now wear the conquered gorgon around your neck, in an alloy of bronze and stainless steel.
(Visit my shop for the same piece in a variety of precious and semi-precious metals: shapeways.com/shops/cosmowenman)