'Medea Contemplating the Murder of her Children'
Medea, daughter of the King of Colchis, married Jason when he came to her homeland with the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece. She bore him two sons, but when Jason deserted her for another woman, she slaughtered them in a paroxysm of anger.
The theme of love and rage vying for possession of Medea's features as she contemplates killing her sons had been a famous topic of discussion in classical writing about the painting of human expression. Romney's son singled out this cartoon in describing his father's mastery at depicting strong emotions.