Medusa is remarkable in many ways.

It stands at the confluence of several streams of interest that concerned Burra during the 1930s: his interest in Mexico and the art of Diego Rivera; his fondness for Spain and its art (in particular Goya's Black Paintings and etchings) and his distress at the Spanish Civil War; and his interest in Italy and the work of Magnasco. All this, combined with a knowledge of Surrealism, enabled him to create a series of remarkable images of impending destruction, of which this is one of the largest and most powerful. In purely technical terms, the work is an extraordinary tour-de-force. It is a remarkable display of the versatility of the watercolour medium, and an education in itself to an audience more familiar with the restrained style of the English School.


Lefevre Gallery.

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