Thursday, February 14, 2008

Friday February 15: The Mother Goddess

The University of Pittsburgh Medieval and Renaissance Studies Program presents

(Professor of Art History,
Carnegie Mellon University)

"The Mother Goddess in Italian Renaissance Art"

Friday, February 15th
4:00 p.m.
Frick Fine Arts Building
Room 202

In this paper, Balas examines the significance of the Mother Goddess and her cult in Renaissance culture. The Mother Goddess was one of the most popular cultic deities, and her colorful myths and exotic rites, described in detail by classical authors, became a rich source of imagery for Renaissance writers, antiquarians, and artists. After outlining key features of (and differences between) the classical and Renaissance versions of the Mother Goddess, Balas will offer detailed analysis of several canvasses from Andrea Mantegna's series, The Triumph of Caesar, in which Cybele appears as a national goddess and protector of the Roman state.

Edith Balas received her PhD in Art History from The University of Pittsburgh and has been teaching at Carnegie Mellon since 1977. Her main areas of interest are modern art (1890-1960), painting and sculpture, and the art of the Italian Renaissance. Her most recent publications include the second edition of Brancusi & Romanian Folk Traditions (2006); Michelangelo's Double Self-Portraits (2004); The Early Work of Henry Koerner (2003); and The Mother Goddess in Italian Renaissance Art (2002).
She has published over two dozen articles in the US, Holland, Hungary, Romania, Italy, and France. She has also curated shows in Pittsburgh, New York, Budapest, and Paris.

This talk is generously co-sponsored by the Women's Studies Program and the Department of History of Art and Architecture

Questions? Please contact MRST Director Jennifer Waldron (

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