Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos at the Getty Museum

Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos at the Getty Museum


http://www.artribune.com/2015/08/scultura-classica-e-poesia-italiane-si-incontrano-a-los-angeles-gabriele-tinti-protagonista-al-getty-museum-e-allistituto-italiano-di-cultura-ecco-le-immagini/il-pugile-a-riposo-esposto-nella-mostra-power-and-pathos-al-getty-museum/
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Giacobbe Giusti, Defining beauty the body in ancient Greek art

Giacobbe Giusti, Defining beauty the body in ancient Greek art

 

 

Marble statue of a naked Aphrodite crouching at her bath, also known as Lely’s Venus. Roman copy of a Greek original, 2nd century AD. Lent by Her Majesty the Queen.

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Marble statue of a naked Aphrodite crouching at her bath, also known as Lely’s Venus. Roman copy of a Greek original, 2nd century AD. Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015.

 

26 March – 5 July 2015

Defining beauty: the Body in Ancient Greek Art at the British Museum gives visitors quite an eyeful

by Hugh Montgomery Author Biography

From fitness magazines to dating apps, you don’t have to look far for evidence of our modern society’s obsession with the body beautiful. But for all the think-piece chatter, this veneration of the toned and chiselled is hardlya 21st-century phenomenon: get a load of those Ancient Greeks, as you can at the British Museum’s spring blockbuster exhibition Defining Beauty.

Bringing together around 150 pieces from the Museum’s own collections and beyond, it will show how, from the fifth century BC on, Greek sculptors revolutionised the representation of the human form. Channelling the humanism that was at the core of the new Athenian democracy – the idea, as Protagoras said, that “man was the measure of all things” – they sought to celebrate the human form by depicting it in a radically naturalistic but idealised state.

And in doing so, lost the clothes, of course: the Greeks’ attitude towards naked male flesh, at least, was “exceptional and unique” within the ancient world, as curator Ian Jenkins points out. Rather than maintain the traditional associations of nakedness with shame and vulnerability, they re-conceived it as heroic. “When a young man took off his clothes in the gymnasium, he wore the uniform of the righteous,” says Jenkins.

Indeed, if today’s body-beautiful culture seems predicated on envy and aspiration, the exhibition’s marble, bronze and terracotta specimens will leave visitors in rather more sublime a state, hopes Jenkins. “The Greeks placed man at the centre [of their world] and elevated him to be uniquely self-determining … and the body is the illustration of that conviction … I want [people] to come out feeling more intelligent and beautiful than when they went in,” he says.

And if that’s not incentive enough, then here, as an appetite-whetter, are six of Jenkins’s pulchritudinous highlights:

1) Figure of a River God, (circa 438-432BC) – one of the Parthenon Sculptures or ‘Elgin Marbles’

Figure of a river god, one of the ‘Elgin Marbles’ Figure of a river god, one of the ‘Elgin Marbles’ (British Museum)
I have put this first among the six, because it is a Greek original; many of the others are Roman copies. It comes from the west pediment of the Parthenon, and is thought to represent the river Ilissos. To  get a figure to fit the space of a pediment’s raking cornice, you have to make it miniature or have it recline, and once you’ve got the figure to lie, it becomes a good subject for representing water, as it “flows” into the corner. The piece has about it that shifting indefinable quality of breathing vitality; cold marble is made lissom and languid by a process of almost magical alchemy and turned into warm flesh and flowing drapery, which is then converted again into water.

2) Bronze statuette of Zeus (1st-2nd century AD)

A bronze statuette of Zeus A bronze statuette of Zeus (British Museum)
This representation of the great Lord Olympus, some 20cm high, is an extraordinary piece: macho, commanding, erotically inspiring, all the things that the male body can be. It came into the British Museum collection in the mid 19th century having been in the collection of Dominique Vivant Denon, the first director of the Louvre. It is the quality of the piece that is so remarkable: as a French commentator said at the end of the 19th century, one could imagine in this statue that it were a colossus: it has such a major impact on the eye and when you look at it close up, it looks as though the detail could only be achieved on something of a much greater scale.

3) Aphrodite crouching at her bath, aka Lely’s Venus (2nd century AD)

‘Lely’s Venus’ a Roman copy of the lost Greek original

‘Lely’s Venus’ a Roman copy of the lost Greek original (Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015)
She’s a truly exceptional piece of carving and composition who represents the danger of getting too close to goddesses: the idea is that you approach her from behind and you see her broad flat back, her head looking forcefully down over her right shoulder, and her right arm reaching over her left shoulder and seeming to play with our attention and beckon us to move closer. So we do first a quarter turn, and then a three-quarter turn, but finally our expectations are denied because we do not get an intimate view of her sexual parts and instead what we get is an intimidating stare. A piece that seems at first welcoming is in fact, very threatening.

4) Marble statue of a boy athlete, aka the Westmacott Athlete (1st century AD)

The ‘Westmacott Athlete’ The ‘Westmacott Athlete’ (British Museum)
This representation of a young athlete fulfils an idea of the beautiful male athletic body that is much spoken of in texts of the time. He is the epitome of youth: standing firm but looking away from us demurely. This is a copy of a lost Greek original from around the time of Socrates, and I like to think of him as from Plato’s Charmides, a dialogue in which a beautiful boy is admired and interrogated by Socrates, who determines that he is not only beautiful but morally sound: he is drawn even more to him because he demonstrates “charis” or grace. You can also see here how the sexuality of the athletic nude is reduced by the downsizing of the genitals – and there’s no thrusting as you find with the goal-scoring footballers of today.

5) Statuette of a veiled and masked dancer, aka the Baker Dancer (3rd-2nd century BC)

‘The Baker Dancer’ ‘The Baker Dancer’ (British Museum)
This is an object which I first fell in love with when I went to The Met in New York aged 24. It’s a virtuoso, almost dazzling display of modelling, first of all in clay and then cast in bronze, of a female dancer using her drapery to suggest the body beneath, which she’s clearly very proud of. It’s a great example of the use of drapery as sexual innuendo by sculptors in a society where the depiction of the  female body was more problematic than the male.

6) The Belvedere Torso (1st century BC to 1st century AD)

The ‘Belvedere Torso’ The ‘Belvedere Torso’ (British Museum)
It is a privilege to have this on loan from the Vatican; it’s the first time it has travelled to the UK. This piece was much praised by Michelangelo, and inspired The Creation of Adam; when asked by the Pope to restore it, he refused on the grounds it was an inimitable work of art which, though broken, possessed the ideal principles of Greek sculpture. I think it’s probably a representation of Hercules, after his labours, awaiting divinity, though there are a few different theories – there is a suggestion that he’s Ajax – and what’s so remarkable about it is the articulation of the different planes of the body; it’s like a cubist painting by Picasso.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/defining-beauty-the-body-in-ancient-greek-art-at-the-british-museum-gives-visitors-quite-an-eyeful-10123257.html
http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/past_exhibitions/2015/defining_beauty.aspx?fromShortUrl
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Giacobbe Giusti, Etruscan Warrior, known as Marte of Todi

Giacobbe Giusti, Etruscan Warrior, known as Marte of Todi

 

 

V secolo a.C.

Musei Vaticani, Roma

It is a bronze statue, discovered in 1835, buried next to the walls of the Convent of Montesanto, very close to the Umbrian town of Todi, in the province of Perugia. The area was an ancient Etruscan settlement.

Like many Etruscan sculpture, we don’t know the author of the work. From the dedicatory inscription it is known that it was donated to the temple dedicated to Mars (god greek-Etruscan) by National Etruscan Tahal Trutitis.

The statue was found buried under slabs of travertine, and was probably achieved by a sunbeam, which revealed the presence.

It is currently displaied at the Vatican Museums in Rome (exactly in the Gregorian Etruscan Museum). The iron lance that no longer exists and the cup that the warrior wore originally exhibited separately.
http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos at the Getty Museum

Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos at the Getty Museum

 

Apollo (Apollo di Piombino). 120-100 a.C. circa; bronzo, rame, argento; cm 117 x 42 x 42. Parigi, Musée du Louvre, département des Antiquités grecques, étrusques et romaines, inv. Br 2. Ph. Fernando Guerrini (Archivio Fotografico della Soprintendenza Archeologia della Toscana)

The New York Times

In ‘Power and Pathos,’ Faces Frozen in Time and Bronze at the Getty Museum

Photo

A head of Seuthes III is among more than 50 ancient bronzes at the Getty Museum. Credit Krasimir Georgiev, via National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgaria

More than 2,000 years ago, artists of ancient Greece and Rome created sculptural representations of human beings that remain as striking for their anatomical and psychological realism as anything produced by Western artists since. The public does not often get to see many masterpieces of that time and place together, so “Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World” at the J. Paul Getty Museum (and traveling to the National Gallery of Art in December) will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for comparing and contrasting. The exhibition convenes more than 50 ancient bronzes from the Mediterranean region dating from the fourth century B.C. to the first century A.D. Among them is the famous “Terme Boxer” from the National Roman Museum, a nearly life-size representation of a muscular, bearded athlete seated in a state of exhaustion, his face bruised and bloody, his head turned to his right as if to ask his coach for advice or to plead with the gods for relief from his barbaric plight. (310-440-7300; getty.edu)

Photo

Four of the more than 50 ancient bronzes at the Getty Museum. Credit Clockwise from top left: Marie Mauzy/Art Resource, NY; The Trustees of The British Museum; Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worh, via Scala, Firenze; Archaeological Museum of Calymnos and Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, via Archaeological Receipts Fund

Giacobbe Giusti, The Louvre portrait of Alexander the Great

Giacobbe Giusti, The Louvre portrait of Alexander the Great

Roman marble sculpture

About 1st – 2nd Cent. AA.

From Tivoli, Rome

Original bronze sculpture attributed to Lysippos

About 330 BC.

Paris, Musée du Louvre

 

About 1st – 2nd Cent. AA.

From Tivoli, Rome

Original bronze sculpture attributed to Lysippos

About 330 BC.

Paris, Musée du Louvre

 

https://www.google.it/search?q=The+Louvre+portrait+of+Alexander+the+Great&biw=853&bih=439&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMI2L6Pmf7sxgIVxp9yCh0Y4goC#imgrc=e1mHSBHwzXkhmM%3A
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Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos

Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos

POWER16

First Ever Major Exhibition of Hellenistic Bronze Sculptures Will Travel Internationally

 

MEDIA CONTACT:    
Amy Hood
Getty Communications
(310) 440-6427
ahood@getty.edu
Beginning in March 2015, the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., will present Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World, the first major international exhibition to bring together approximately 50 ancient bronzes from the Mediterranean region and beyond ranging from the 4th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D.
“The representation of the human figure is central to the art of almost all ancient cultures, but nowhere did it have greater importance, or more influence on later art history, than in Greece,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “It was in the Hellenistic period that sculptors pushed to the limit the dramatic effects of billowing drapery, tousled hair, and the astonishingly detailed renderings of veins, wrinkles, tendons, and musculature, making the sculpture of their time the most life-like and emotionally charged ever made, and still one of the highpoints of European art history. At its best, Hellenistic sculpture leaves nothing to be desired or improved upon. The 50 or so works in the exhibition represent the finest of these spectacular and extremely rare works that survive, and makes this one of the most important exhibitions of ancient classical sculpture ever mounted. This is a must-see event for anyone with an interest in classical art or sculpture.”

Potts continues: “The Getty Museum is proud to be collaborating on this project with our colleagues in Florence at the Palazzo Strozzi, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, and the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, along with the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C..”

During the Hellenistic era artists around the Mediterranean created innovative, realistic sculptures of physical power and emotional intensity. Bronze—with its reflective surface, tensile strength, and ability to hold the finest details—was employed for dynamic compositions, graphic expressions of age and character, and dazzling displays of the human form.

From sculptures known since the Renaissance, such as the Arringatore (Orator) from Sanguineto (in the collection of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Florence), to spectacular recent discoveries that have never before been exhibited in the United States, the exhibition is the most comprehensive museum survey of Hellenistic bronzes ever organized. In each showing of the exhibition, recent finds—many salvaged from the sea—will be exhibited for the first time alongside famous works from the world’s leading museums. The works of art on view will range in scale from statuettes, busts and heads to life-size figures and herms.

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World is especially remarkable for bringing together works of art that, because of their rarity, are usually exhibited in isolation. When viewed in proximity to one another, the variety of styles and techniques employed by ancient sculptors is emphasized to greater effect, as are the varying functions and histories of the bronze sculptures.

Bronze was a material well-suited to reproduction, and the exhibition provides an unprecedented opportunity to see objects of the same type, and even from the same workshop together for the first time.

The travel schedule for Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World is:

Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy
March 14 – June 21, 2015
http://www.palazzostrozzi.org

J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
July 28 – November 1, 2015
http://www.getty.edu

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
December 6, 2015 – March 20, 2016
http://www.nga.gov

This exhibition is curated by Jens Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin of the J. Paul Getty Museum and co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; with the participation of Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Bank of America is the National Sponsor of this touring exhibition. The Los Angeles presentation is also supported by the Getty Museum’s Villa Council, Vera R. Campbell Foundation, and the A. G. Leventis Foundation.

Giacobbe Giusti, Egyptian hieroglyphs

Giacobbe Giusti, Egyptian hieroglyphs

Name of Alexander the Great in Egyptian hieroglyphs (written from right to left), c. 330 BC, Egypt. Louvre Museum.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_the_Great

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