Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Marble relief fragment with the head of Medea

1st–2nd century A.D.
H. 6 1/2 in. (16.5 cm.); width 5 1/2 inl (14.0 cm.); depth 2 in. (5.1 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
Copy of a Greek marble relief of ca. 420–410 B.C.

This head is from a well-known relief that depicts the witch Medea and the two daughters of Pelias, king of Iolkos, in Thessaly. Medea tricked them into killing and boiling their father in hopes of rejuvenating him, and the scene shows them at a cauldron about to commit the terrible act. The original work was one of four reliefs that probably decorated the parapet surrounding the Altar of the Twelve Gods in the Athenian Agora.
The Art Gallery of Toronto. 1948. The Classical Contribution to Western Civilization: A Loan Exhibition Organized and Lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to the Art Gallery of Toronto. p. 12, Toronto: Rous & Mann.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 62, p. 42, pl. 54a, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

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