Frederick Sandys (1829-1904) was the son of a painter, and was educated at the Norwich School of Design. He began his career as a portrait painter and antiquarian illustrator, exhibiting at the Norwich Art Union even as a boy. He moved to London in 1851 and worked as a draughtsman for wood engravers. He became associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and developed a friendship and shared a house with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who pronounced Sandys as "the greatest living draftsman." Sandys' powerful and sensual images of female beauty and his iconic renderings of alluring and mysterious women are uniquely his own.
In this painting we see the Sorceress Medea, abandoned by her lover Jason after she has helped him capture the golden fleece in return for him promising to marry her. Medea used her herbal magic to drug the Dragon which guarded the fleece. Jason’s departing ship can be seen in the golden Japanese-influenced background- as can the golden fleece itself- and as her husband leaves her for Glauce the daughter of the King of Corinth, Medea begins to cast the spell which will destroy her rival and all of her rival’s loved ones.
She has cast her magick circle with red thread which may symbolise the red thread of traditional Gaelic witchcraft practice, or possibly the red string of fate/ marriage which appears in both. Medea was modelled on Keomi Gray, a Romani woman whom Sandys had met in Norwich and taken back to London to sit for many of his paintings.
the above text appears on the back of the card HC-972: card size 7" x 5" (178mm x 127mm)