36" x 41", oil on masonite
Medea was first shown in 1966 at the Fitzgerald Gallery in New York City. It was part of a show of works by the artist on biblical and mythological themes.
When the Old Masters had tackled such subjects, they often depicted the characters in contemporary dress. Safran's cycle of paintings was partly intended to shed new light on the stories themselves, and on how such history paintings might have been perceived by contemporary audiences.
The boys were neighborhood children who posed for the painting, and the model for Medea was a close family friend.