The subject of the present work is one of the most famous scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses, and depicts Andromeda chained to a rock by the sea-shore as a sacrifice to a sea-monster.
Ovid's legend tells how Cassiopeia, the Queen of Ethiopia, angered the Nerieds by boasting that she and her daughter Andromeda were as beautiful as they. In revenge, Poseidon sent a sea-monster to ravage the land. Learning from an oracle that only the sacrifice of his daughter could appease the monster, King Cepheus had Andromeda chained to a rock. Perseus, returning from having slain the Gorgon, saw Andromeda and set her free, sweeping her skyward on his winged horse, Pegasus. After being granted her hand in marriage, he slew the monster. At their wedding a quarrel took place between Perseus and Andromeda's uncle Phineus, to whom she had originally been promised. Perseus turned him to stone with Medusa's head. The couple moved to Tiryns in Argos and went on to have six sons and one daughter. After Andromeda's death she was placed by Athena amongst the constellations in the northern sky, near Perseus and Cassiopeia.