So-called “Rondanini Medusa”. Marble, Roman copy after a 5th-century BC Greek original by Phidias, which was set on the shield of Athena Parthenos. The Munich Glyptothek's Medusa Rondanini possibly a fifth-century BC work, and the oldest-know"beautiful gorgoneion" sculpture. The design may 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. A revision of the grotesque, disk-shaped death masks of older gorgoneia, 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."
The sculpture is located in the Glyptotek in Monaco of Bavaria.