The statue shows the triumphant Perseus holding the severed head of the Medusa, one of the three Gorgons. The hero is shown with the winged cap, the sandals of Mercury and the sword which had been given to him in order to complete this task. This statue was carved by Antonio Canova (1757-1822) in the space of a few months between the end of the year 1800 and the beginning of 1801. Made for the tribune Onorato Duveyriez, the first owner of the statue, this Perseus was ceded to the Cisalpine Republic for the new Bonaparte Forum in Milan. Later the statue was bought by Pope Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800-1823) who displayed it on the pedestal of the Apollo of the Belvedere which had been taken to France following the Treaty of Tolentino. It was the weight, proportions and expressive character of the statue of the Belvedere Apollo which inspired Canova in this famous statue of Perseus.