The Disillusioned Medea

Paulus Bor Dutch

Not on view

In ancient myth, the sorceress Medea fell in love with the hero Jason and helped him to steal the fleece of a golden ram from her father. After having two sons with her, Jason abandoned Medea, driving her to murder their children as well as his new bride. Bor shows Medea before this dreadful act, slumped in melancholy. The artist devoted careful antiquarian attention to the backdrop of a pagan altar adorned with garlands, an ox skull, and a smoldering lamp, but his Medea resembles an ordinary young woman, prompting empathy and identification on the part of beholders.

The Disillusioned Medea, Paulus Bor (Dutch, Amersfoort ca. 1601–1669 Amersfoort), Oil on canvas

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