"Medusa gaze"

 

Head of Medusa
Public DomainHead of Medusa

 

Perseus with severed Medusa head
Public DomainPerseus with severed Medusa head

In Greek myth, Medusa was one of the three gorgon sisters -- Medusa, Stheno, and Euryale: female monsters that had serpents for hair, and whose direct gaze could turn a man to stone. Eventually, Perseus beheaded Medusa and used her head as a weapon before turning it over to the goddess Athena for use on her shield.

The painting of Medusa's decapitated head on the left is by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640). The bronze statue of Perseus holding the gorgon's severed head on the right is by Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) and stands in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy.

The 1964 cult classic film, “7 Faces of Dr. Lao,” in which Tony Randall stars as a mysterious and magical Chinese circus owner, 7,322 years old, includes a fairly convincing Medusa (with Tony Randall's face) as one of the show’s attractions.