Portraits of Medea (title page and no 1 of 10)

UTT 2013:015.1 Bratescu.jpeg


Portraits of Medea (title page and no 1 of 10)


Geta Bratescu has been inspired by a number of literary figures in her artwork, including the Greek mythological character, Medea. Known in many tales as an enchantress, Medea was the daughter of King Aeetes and wife of the hero Jason (of the Golden Fleece). In the Euripides play of the same name, Medea kills her children to punish her husband’s infidelity. It is interesting to consider this within the political upheaval of Romania at the time.

Bratescu’s fascination with the conflicted character of Medea – powerful feminist or slave to the patriarchy? – has led to many series of works – a set of lithographs, drawings, and two cycles of textile works. The Tyler Collection contains the folio of ‘Portraits of Medea’ from 1979, a set of 12 lithographs in five colours.

“As suggested by the title, the figure we see at the center of the composition is Medea, but also an island surrounded by the sea, in reference to the ancient nautical voyages. One can impute a political character to Bratescu’s Medea: like the artist herself, a woman willing to make extreme sacrifices. By portraying her, Bratescu is also portraying herself …”*



Bratescu, Geta




five-colour lithograph in folio, edition 10/10


art work


UTT 2013/015


From the Tyler Collection. The Fine Art Collection does not hold copyright on all materials in this collection. Contact us for further dealings with this work

Unframed Dimensions

56 x 40cm (sheet)

Original Format



Bratescu, Geta, “Portraits of Medea (title page and no 1 of 10),” Tyler Collection of Romanian and Modern Art: University of Tasmania, accessed October 23, 2020, https://tylercollection.omeka.net/items/show/2119.