Fertility detail
Collection Number: 
Current Location: 
B2- Room 318
Lower Level/Vault
Object Description
Artist Dates: 
1918 - 2020
Artist Nationality: 
Object Type: 
This repousse panel highlights Gabriella Polony Mountain's interest in representations of mother and child, family, and fertility.
38 inches
2 inches
86 1/2 inches

Gabriella Polony Mountain's work includes four major themes. The first three themes are clearly recognizable as the Cosmos, Nature, and Figural works with the fourth theme encompassing history, philosophy, and culture. In her life as an artist, Polony Mountain worked with many different medium including mosaics, weavings, sculpture, stained glass, and repousse. Repousse, or repoussage, is a metalworking technique in which a malleable metal is shaped by hammering the reverse side of a sheet a metal. On the other side, a low relief design is revealed.

This large scale repousse is entitled "Fertility" and depicts signs and symbols representing the creation of life. The most prominent figure in the picture plane is depicted in the upper half of the picture plane. It is encompassed by a mandorla-like halo which adds to the figure's importance. The figure bends slightly while holding a spherical object in its elongated hands. Perhaps this object is a seed of some kind.

Moving downward to the lower left corner stands three figures comprising a family, two large and one small. The smaller figure gazes upward at one of the larger figures while the attention of the larger figures is directed at the central figure who may represent the creator. Flying above the family along the bottom of the panel is a hilly landscape. Rising from the center of the hilly landscape is another mandorla-like form. Encased within this form are two circles with the one below representing a seed and the one above perhaps symbolizing water. Sprouting forth from the hilly landscape in the lower right hand corner is a large flower. Hanging from the base of its thick stalk is an insect. Above the flower flutters a butterfly. The butterfly brings the gaze back to the creator located at the center of the picture plane.

The composition also includes various sized circular and oval shapes, each uniquely adorned to differentiate their appearance. Polony Mountain uses swirly lines to connect one form to another. This panel is but one example of Polony Mountain's skill with the repousse technique and her ability to create movement within an otherwise static material.

Reproduce the Work in Library publications/publicity, including film or videotape: 
Make slides or videotapes for educational use: 
Permit the general public to photograph the work :