In Greek legend Medea, wife of Jason, was a passionate and jealous woman who fled with Jason when he returned to Greece after capturing the Golden Fleece. When he later deserted her to marry another woman, Medea stopped at nothing to gain her revenge, even murdering her own two children, her father-in-law, and Jason's new wife.
Medea: or the Marriage of Jason and Creusa was a play by Jan Six, one of Rembrandt's most important patrons. The image is an illustration of the play's theme rather than of a specific scene. Medea is depicted lurking in the shadows with the instruments of her revenge while the wedding of Jason and Creusa, presided over by Juno, unfolds in a majestic architectural space above. In the present, published state, four lines of text are added below, identifying Jason not as a hero but as adulterer, and Medea as a wronged wife 'unjustly cast aside.'