Medea: the queen murders her children

By snurfson / Posted on 07 January 2011

Anselm Feuerbach celebrates a woman of monumental size. Were she to stand up, she would burst out of the canvas. No one else in the composition is as large as the heroine with her children. Feuerbach makes their difference in scale plausible by locating the other figures deeper into the background. The unsettlingly large woman is seated within a precisely balanced composition. Although Feuerbach emphasizes harmony in the compositional structure, the name of Medea is synonymous with murder. The horses skull lying at the bottom of the picture is a pointer to the impending tragedy. The figure shrouded in robes, a nurse or a servant woman, buries her face in her hands- she doesn’t want to see what is coming.





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