Andromeda was the daughter of the king of Ethiopia, Cepheus, and his wife Cassiopeia. After her mother boasted that she was more beautiful than the Nereids, Poseidon demanded that she be sacrificed to the sea monster Cetus. She is saved by Perseus, with whom she had seven sons and two daughters. As was already typical in ancient portrayals of Andromeda, Bukovac depicted her awaiting her fate. Her body, almost completely revealed to the (male) gaze, contrasts with the rock to which she is chained and with Ovid’s original idea of a dark-skinned Andromeda.
The nineteenth century saw female nudes finally prevail over male nudes. Despite the upheavals of modern art, themes from antiquity remained an important part of the academic and salon repertoire. Bukovac probably based his Andromeda, painted in Paris, on the works of English and French painters such as Edward Poynter (1836–1919), Gustave Doré (1832–1883) and William Bouguereau (1825–1905), who likewise painted Andromeda and Venus as idealised women with long red hair.