Art Loan: Perseus, on Pegasus

The mythical painting 'Perseus on Pegasus, hastening to the rescue of Andromeda' has gone on loan to a museum in France.

Published: 21 April 2023


Perseus, on Pegasus, Hastening to the Rescue of Andromeda by Frederic Lord Leighton, oil on canvas, 1896
The mythical Perseus rides the winged horse Pegasus, hastening to the rescue of Andromeda, who is in peril from the Kraken, a terrible sea-monster. Perseus is carrying the head of the slain Medusa, with hair of snakes, whose gaze even after death would turn the beholder to stone.

The painting 'Perseus, on Pegasus, Hastening to the Rescue of Andromeda' by Frederick Leighton, 1896, is going to the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen, which is situated in Normandy, France. Because it has a very ornate and fragile gilded frame, it has been swapped out into a custom-made plainer frame that is used to display the painting when it travels for exhibitions elsewhere. To do this, a specialist independent conservator, Annabelle Monaghan, and a team of 4 technicians from C’Art Art Transport Ltd, were brought in to do the highly skilled task of getting this very large and heavy painting down from the Victorian Art Gallery and unframing it. They also put up a replacement artwork in its place, ‘The Foolish Virgins; too late ye cannot enter now’ by Frank Bernard Dicksee, 1883.

All of this has been paid for by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen as part of the terms of the loan and is a great way of getting Leicester Museums & Galleries' paintings seen by new audiences around the world. It also enables stored artworks to have a turn on display in the Victorian Art Gallery.


The exhibition at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen is called Sous le regard de Méduse (Under the Gaze of Medusa) and it runs from 13th May to 17th September.