William Wetmore Story
William Wetmore Story (American, 1819–1895)
76 1/4 x 27 1/4 x 26 1/4 inches
Gift of the West Foundation in honor of Gudmund Vigtel and Michael E. Shapiro
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.
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