What’s Behind this Woman’s Enigmatic Expression?

Uncovering the story captured in this notorious painting

Christopher P Jones
6 min readApr 21, 2023

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Medea (1868) by Frederick Sandys. Oil on wood panel with gilded background. 61.2 x 45.6 cm. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, UK. Image source Birmingham Museums Trust (open access)

Love stories in Greek mythology are often marked by doomed or tragic outcomes. The story of Medea and Jason is no exception, and is among the most emotive of them all.

This outstanding painting made by Frederick Sandys, shows a tormented Medea as she prepares a…

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