I Love Lucretia, 1995

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In this mezzotint of 1998, Passow presents an updated story of Lucretia, the legendary figure of ancient Rome. Lucretia was the beautiful and virtuous wife of the nobleman Collatinus. But struck by her charm, the king's son, Sextus Tarquinius raped her. To prove her innocence and to restore family honor, she stabbed herself in front of her family. To the Romans, her suicide was a courageous and appropriate act. Passow, however, has modernized the tale in the form of parody. The modern Lucretia is a stereotypical housewife of the 1950s, a time when most married women were homemakers. Fed up with the role and duties expected of a housewife, she attempted to kill herself. Passow derived the print's title from the popular television program I Love Lucy, while drawing a parallel between the two women's situations. Both women were trapped in the institutions of a male-oriented society.

I Love Lucretia
Artist Life
born 1954
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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