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Medea

Artist:
William Wetmore Story (American, Boston, Massachusetts 1819–1895 Vallombrosa)
Date:
1865; carved 1868
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
82 1/4 x 26 3/4 x 27 1/2 in. (208.9 x 67.9 x 69.9 cm)
Classification:
Sculpture
Credit Line:
Gift of Henry Chauncey, 1894
Accession Number:
94.8a–d
Not on view
In the ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides, Medea was the sorceress who assisted Jason in obtaining the Golden Fleece and later became his wife. When he abandoned her, Medea murdered their two children and planned the death of his new love, Creusa. To nineteenth-century theater audiences, Medea was a sympathetic character forced to choose between relinquishing her children and protecting them by destroying them herself. Story similarly deemphasized Medea’s revenge, leaving to the viewer’s imagination the scene of infanticide to come.
Signature: [back of base, within circle]: WWS [monogram] / ROMA 1868

Inscription: [front of base, in relief]: MEDEA
Henry Chauncey, New York, 1868–1894
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