Iaia of Cyzicus

Possible Reconstructions of Iaia’s Painting

2018

Gelatin Silver Prints

A common myth touted by scholars of classics and forwarded by the primary sources is that women of antiquity were largely kept within the home sphere owned by their male elder or husband. There is, however, evidence that this immobility was ideological in nature in antiquity. One fragmentary piece of evidence refuting this myth is a small paragraph in Pliny the Elder’s Natural History that lists six of the handful of woman artists known to us from antiquity. This textual fragment is the only place in which Roman artist Iaia of Cyzicus exists today, in which she is devoted two sentences. In this passage Pliny lists several known pieces by the artist, one of which is a self-portrait using a mirror. I have reconstructed this in a series of my own self-portraits.

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