Press Releases

TitleUSD Reinterprets the Classical Tradition with New Exhibit
ContactLiz Harman
Contact E-mailharman, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4682

Ancient Greek and Roman mythological stories focusing on the subjects of love, power, and conflict repeatedly attracted the interest of poets, artists, and patrons from the Renaissance onwards. Representations of the Olympian deities corresponded with the revival of classical forms and themes, and prints offered a relatively inexpensive medium for the creation and dissemination of independent compositions for a growing art market throughout Europe.


A selection of some of the most remarkable examples have been assembled in “Reinterpreting the Classical Tradition: Mythological Prints from Mantegna to Picasso,” an exhibition of more than 40 works on view at the University of San Diego’s Robert and Karen Hoehn Family Galleries from March 13 through May 25. Regular hours for the free exhibit are noon-4:30 p.m., Wednesdays-Sundays and noon-6 p.m., Thursdays. The exhibit is closed university holidays. Call (619) 260-4261.


Artists from the late 15th-century courts of Italy to post-World-War-I Paris used woodcuts, engravings, and etchings as dramatic media for expressing novel designs derived from ancient art and literature. Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” written during the era of Augustus, served as the principal source for a variety of interpretations of mythic characters and events. Generations of printmakers often returned to the same episodes in a conscious effort to surpass the achievements of their predecessors, modifying and refining scenes to reflect different aesthetic models and modes of expression.


The exhibition includes loans from the San Diego Museum of Art, UCLA’s Grunwald Center for Graphic Arts, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In addition to works by Andrea Mantegna and Pablo Picasso, there are prints by or after Raphael, Hendrick Goltzius, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo.



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