Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 18757
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Balas , Edith.
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Cybele and Her Cult in Andrea Mantegna's "The Triumph of Caesar" [English adaptation of French abstract: The article explains in detail the presence, never before noted, of the pagan goddess Cybele in the series of paintings by Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar." Mantegna draws upon Classical and early medieval art and literature in order to present Cybele in different roles: political, military, and religious. The author analyzes Cybele in relation to her cult, suggesting that, during the time of Julius Caesar, she became a national goddess. She was carried along from Gaul by the army for protection, and was brought into Rome in triumph as a spoil of war. Title note supplied by Feminae.].
  • Source: Gazette des Beaux-Arts 115, (January 1990): Pages 1 - 14.
  • Description:
  • Article Type: Journal Article
  • Subject (See Also): Art History- Decorative Arts Art History- Painting Art History- Sculpture Classical Influences Goddesses Iconography Images Mantegna, Andrea, Painter- Triumph of Caesar Pagan Influences Paganism Pageants Politics in Art Processions Propaganda Ritual Rome
  • Geographic Area: Italy
  • Century: 15
  • Related Resources:
  • Primary Evidence: Painting; Andrea Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar," late fifteenth century, series of nine individual canvases presently located in several locations (Collection of Queen Elizabeth II, Hampton Court, and National Gallery, London). Paintings depict Julius Caesar in
  • Illustrations: Fourteen Figures. Figure One "Cybele and Victory," antique sarcophagus, basilica of San Lorezno, Rome. Stone carving depicts Cybele and Victory carried on litters as part of a triumphal procession. Figure Two "Cybele being carried in a procession," Arch at Benevento, 114 A.D. Stone relief depicts Cybele carried in a procession of men, women, and children. Figure Three "Relief dedicated to Cornelius Scipio," Villa Albani, Rome. Stone relief depicts Cybele carried in a pageant wagon being pulled by a lion, the wagon bearing an inscription reading "LCORNEIVS / SCIPIOOREITVS." Figure Four Andrea Mantegna, "The Triumph of Scipio," late fifteenth century, National Gallery, London. Painting depicts a male bust being carried by a procession. Figure Five Andrea Mantegna, "The Triumph of ~~Caesar," Canvas 8, late fifteenth century, Hampton Court, London. Painting depicts seven busts of Cybele being carried on poles by a procession of musicians with long hair and Oriental garb. Figure Six "Seated Cybele," middle of first century A.D., J. Paul Getty Museum, New York. Stone statue depicts Cybele seated on a throne. Figure Seven Andrea Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar," Canvas 2, late fifteenth century, Collection of Queen ~~Elizabeth II. A colossal bust of Cybele is wheeled on a cart, and an inscription affixed to the cart reads "IMP. IULIO CAESARI/ OB GALLIAM DEVICT/ MILITARY POTENCIA/ TRIUMPHUS/ DECRETUS INVIDIA/ SPRETA SUPERATA." Figure Eight "Cybele and Neptune," first century A.D., Muzeul de Istorie Nationala, Constanta, Romania. Stone statue depicts a robed Cybele standing accompanied by a small figure of Neptune at her feet. Figure Nine Andrea ~~Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar," Canvas 4, late fifteenth century, Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. Painting depicts victimarii (executioners) leading garlanded bulls to the sacrifice. Figure Ten Andrea ~~Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar," Canvas 5, late fifteenth century, Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. Painting depicts victimarii (executioners) leading garlanded bulls to the sacrifice. Figure Eleven ~~Detail of "Ara Pietatis Augustae," 43 A.D., Villa Medici, Rome. Stone relief depicts executioners leading bead-wearing bulls to the sacrifice. Figure Twelve Andrea Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar," Canvas 9, late fifteenth century, Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. Julius Caesar sits on ~~a chariot before a triumphal arch with a frieze depicting symbols of the taurobolium (ritual sacrifice of bulls): a sacrificial vase, axe, knife, and laurel twigs. Figure Thirteen Andrea Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar," Canvas 1, late fifteenth century, Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. Painting depicts two exotically garbed men, one holding a small image of the goddess Cybele with her attributes of a globe and cornucopia, the other carrying an image of the goddess. Figure Fourteen Andrea Mantegna, "The Triumph of Caesar," Canvas 7, late fifteenth century, Collection of Queen Elizabeth II. In the background of the procession is a pyramid topped with ~~a sphere, possibly the globe of Cybele.
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  • Abstract:
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 1990.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 00165530
  • Material/Technique :
  • Rights: