This is a copy of the original work that was destroyed by Lack after being repainted in Bistre in 1987. Lack made adjustments to the color and refined other details in the final painting. The model for female figures was Katherine Lack. The male model wasn’t recorded however he was the same model used for Perseus and Andromeda. This painting and its studies mark the beginning of Katherine Lack’s role sewing costumes for two of Lack’s imaginative works, Medea and the Jester in Silver Apples of the Moon (no. 000). The attire of Medea reflects classical Greece and appears authentic. Katherine Lack studied costume history at the Art and Fashion School in Vienna, Austria during WWII. The principal had an extensive collection of historical clothing dating from the 7th to the 20th century that the students had access to. Additionally, the Lack library had several books they could reference for Greek clothing of various periods. In this case Katherine purchased red fabric and added a border.1
The Myth Story: Although the Medea play is confined in time to the final day of catastrophe at Corinth, the background is the whole romantic story of the Argonauts. Jason and his hero-comrades, at the instigation of Pelias, the usurping king of Thessalian Iolchos, undertook the first voyage in quest of the Golden Fleece. Smitten by love of him, the beautiful barbaric Medea, daughter of the king, by the help of her magic aided Jason in all his adventures and accompanied him in his journey home.2
- Stephen Gjertson, An Interview with Richard Lack, pp. 24-31, Classical Realism Journal, Vol. VI, Iss. 2, Winter/Spring 2001, ISSN 1072-6764, The American Society of Classical Realism,repr. p. 25
Richard Lack, On The Training of Painters: With Notes on the Atelier Program, Vol. VIII, 2009, The Atelier, 2009, p. 86
1 Katherine Lack interview, 2014.
2 Thomas Bulfinch, “Medea” The Age of Fables, pp. 219-220,Bulfinch’s Mythology, Barnes & Noble, 2006: A compilation of his three books: The Age of Fable, first published in 1855; The Age of Chivalry, first published in 1858; and The Legends of Charlemagne, first published in 1863; All three were published by Review of Reviews company, New York, NY in 1913. These two books are still considered the definitive resource for fables and mythology. Lack read them. He references Bulfinch’s book The Age of Fable as a notation on a series of mythological thumbnail concepts (UNDOC WDCT CONCPT: 042-a, List of Illustrations, Age of Fable).