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Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism is on view now!
Artist
Kahlil Gibran
Title
Medusa
Date
c. 1905 - 1908
Medium
pastel on paper
Dimensions
Sheet: 13 1/2 × 8 1/2 inches (34.3 × 21.6 cm)
Tags
Drawing
Credit Line
Gift of Mary Haskell Minis.
Accession Number
1950.8.17
Ancient culture and mythology fascinated Gibran throughout his life. Here, he portrays the Greek mythological figure of Medusa, who was said to be a monster with venomous snakes for hair with the power to turn anyone who looked at her into stone. Although many representations of Medusa in Western art history portray her as a grotesque monster, Gibran’s Medusa is conventionally beautiful. The coiled snakes on her head are abstracted to the point of nearly being indistinguishable, and despite the prominent and symbolic skull necklace at her throat, the focus of the image is the expression of shock on Medusa’s face.