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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Lysistrata

Literary, known in ancient Greece, beginning 411 B.C.E.

Lysistrata is the title of an antiwar comedy by the playwright Aristophanes, written in Greece in 411 B.C.E. The eponymous heroine leads the women of Greece in a campaign against the Peloponnesian War. Their strategy: withholding sex from their husbands. Women from many different city-states in Greece swear an oath to support each other and participate in the collective action. Lysistrata recommends that they apply the utmost pressure by dressing seductively at all times. The women also seize the public treasury of Athens, fending off the old men of the city who attempt to smash the barricades. Unable to bear their enforced celibacy, the men capitulate in the end, and peace is restored.

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). <em>The Dinner Party</em> (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography
Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

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