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Medea

American Art

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Medea

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

William Wetmore Story
American, 1819–1895

Date

1866

Medium

Marble

Accession #

2010.91

Dimensions

76 1/4 x 27 1/4 x 26 1/4 inches

Location

On View - Wieland Pavilion, Taylor Lobby

Description

The sorceress Medea appears prominently in the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts and has been reinterpreted in other stories over the centuries. In his fifth-century BCE play, Euripides portrays Medea as a scorned woman who seeks revenge against her unfaithful husband and heartlessly murders their two children.

In this sculpture, William Story captures the depths of Medea’s angst. With furrowed brow, she stands knife in hand, preparing for the deed. The haunting detail of her snake bracelet visually links her fate with that of another tragic woman Story depicted in his sculpture Cleopatra, on view nearby.

Credit

Gift of the West Foundation in honor of Gudmund Vigtel and Michael E. Shapiro

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