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On Display

Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898)

The Finding of Medusa

This is the least finished cartoon in the series. Burne-Jones has set out the four figures in another vague rocky landscape but there is little detail. Medusa stands on the left, her writhing serpent hair loosely suggested. Her sisters sit below covered by their wings. In Morris's poem Medusa is pacing and crying in anguish at the loss of her once beautiful hair - the result of a curse by the goddess Athena. Burne-Jones manages to convey this in her expression while the intensity of her eyes hints at her dreadful power. Perseus stands invisible behind, using the mirror to locate Medusa.

Mediummixed media on paper
Dimensions1525mm x 1377mm
Acquisition NumberSOTAG : 103
Credit LinePurchased in 1934 through the Chipperfield Bequest Fund

Other works by this artist