These pictures took a significant departure from  the ancient play, "Lysistrata," by Aristophanes in which the women of Athens conspire to withhold sex from the men in order to end the Peloponnesian War. Conversely, these pictures take a more realistic, and tragic, point of view. They describe the violence and destruction these women endured in the midst of a war that shook the whole Peloponnese, collapsing institutions and a society in chaos. These images are not an illustration of any real or plausible situation but are classicized expression of a moment before imminent death. To have seen this image is to have already died a serene death, and to have lived like an ancient oneself. ■

[selected images]

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