Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

 

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Giacobbe Giusti,  Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Boy Removing a Thorn from His Foot
Boy Removing a Thorn from His Foot, “The Spinario,” about 50 B.C., bronze and copper. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Palazzo dei Conservatori, Sala dei Trionfi – foto Zeno Colantoni

July 28–November 1, 2015, Getty Center

During the Hellenistic period from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. until the establishment of the Roman Empire in 31 B.C., the medium of bronze drove artistic innovation. Sculptors moved beyond Classical norms, supplementing traditional subjects and idealized forms with realistic renderings of physical and emotional states. Bronze—surpassing marble with its tensile strength, reflective effects, and ability to hold fine detail—was employed for dynamic compositions, dazzling displays of the nude body, and graphic expressions of age and character.

Cast from alloys of copper, tin, lead, and other elements, bronze statues were produced in the thousands: honorific portraits of rulers and citizens populated city squares, and images of gods, heroes, and mortals crowded sanctuaries. Few, however, survive. This unprecedented exhibition unites fifty significant bronzes of the Hellenistic age. New discoveries appear with works known for centuries, and several closely related statues are presented side by side for the first time.

This exhibition was organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, with the participation of the 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.

http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/power_pathos/

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

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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, Power and Pathos at the Getty Center

Giacobbe Giusti, Power and Pathos at the Getty Center

The Getty Center

Portrait of Seuthes III

Portrait of Seuthes III, about 310-300 B.C., bronze, copper, calcite, alabaster, and glass. National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, BAS. Photo: Krasimir Georgiev

GETTY CENTER

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

GETTY CENTER

Daily, through November 1

Exhibitions Pavilion

Free | No ticket required

During the three centuries between the reigns of Alexander the Great and Augustus, artists around the Mediterranean created innovative, realistic sculptures of physical power and emotional intensity. Bronze—with its tensile strength, reflective effects, and ability to hold the finest detail—was employed for dynamic compositions, dazzling displays of the nude body, and graphic expressions of age and character. This unprecedented international loan exhibition unites about fifty significant bronzes of the Hellenistic age.

This exhibition was organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington with the participation of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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http://www.getty.edu/visit/cal/events/ev_425.html

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Puissance et Pathos, bronzes du monde hellénistique

Giacobbe Giusti, Puissance et Pathos, bronzes du monde hellénistique

Allestimento di Potere e pathos
Allestimento di Potere e pathos

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Apollo of Piombino

Giacobbe Giusti, Apollo of Piombino

 

 

 

 

 

In 1977 a similar statue of an archaising Apollo was found at Pompeii in the villa of C. Julius Polybius, and based on photographs the two were soon ‘associated’ … the slight scandal of the Pompeian piece is that it was excavated with tendrils which probably held a wooden tray, and so its nature as a piece of decorative furniture in a fancy Roman house could not be denied.

 

Apollo of Piombino

Lithograph of the Piombino Apollo from Bulfinch Mythology, 1908

The Apollo of Piombino or the Piombino Boy is a famous Greek bronze statuette[1] in late Archaic style that depicts the god as a kouros or youth, or it may be a worshipper bringing an offering.[2] The bronze is inlaid with copper for the boy’s lips, eyebrows and nipples. The eyes, which are missing, were of another material, perhaps bone or ivory.

It was found in 1832 at Piombino (Roman Populonia), in Etruria, in the harbor off the southwest point and was purchased for the Musée du Louvre in 1834. Its archaic style led scholars like Reinhard Lullies and Max Hirmer[3] to date it in the 5th century BCE and place its facture in Magna Graecia, the Hellenic culture area of southern Italy; Kenneth Clark illustrated it in The Nude (1956),[4] Karl Schefold included it in Meisterwerke Griechischer Kunst 1960[5] and casts of it were to be found in university and museum study collections; one made by the Louvre has been returned to Piombino.[6] Instead, B.S. Ridgeway (Ridgeway 1967) proved it to be— not simply an archaising sculpture of the 1st century BCE, of the kind designed to appeal to a Roman with refined tastes— but a consciously fabricated Roman forgery, with a false inlaid inscription of silver in archaic lettering on the left leg. The inscription dedicates this Apollo to Athena, an anomaly.[7] The two sculptors responsible could not resist secreting inside the sculpture a lead tag inscribed with their names, which was found when the sculpture was conserved in 1842.[7] One was a Tyrian émigré to Rhodes. The Louvre’s website adds that a comparable work uncovered in 1977 in Pompeii, in the villa of C. Julius Polybius, corroborates the hypothesis of an archaising pastiche, made for a Roman client in the 1st century BCE.[7]

 

Apollon de Piombino.jpg

The study of ancient Greek sculpture in the last decades has moved away from the traditional practice of identifying sculptures based on brief literary descriptions and attempting to recognize the characteristic manner of some famous names as reflected in reproductions of their work and variants based on their style, to concentrate instead on the socio-political world in which sculpture was created and other less subjective criteria.[8]

 

  1.  1.15 m.
  2.  The latter suggestion is made, for example, by Jaś Elsner, “Reflections of the ‘Greek Revolution’ in art”, in Simon Goldhill and Robin Osborne, eds. Rethinking Revolutions Through Ancient Greece 2006:71; of the bronze ephebe found in the House of the Bronze Ephebe, and identified by Dorothy Kent Hill as having held a lamp (Hill, “Roman domestic garden sculpture”, in Elisabeth B. MacDougall, et al., Ancient Roman Gardens 1981:89); Hill observes “today we can recognize many lamp-bearers of the same ephebe type”, instancing the Apollo of Piombino first among others.
  3.  Lullies and Hirmer, Greek Sculpture, 1960.
  4.  Clark, The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form, 1960, fig 23, p. 60; Clark expressed his reserves with the sculpture in his text, but attributed the “uneasiness” to its archaic stiffness.
  5.  Plate 235.
  6. According to Thomas Hoving, False Impressions: the hunt for big-time art fakes 1996:34; Hoving quotes his previously unpublished impressions of first viewing the Apollo in the early 1960s: “…a simpering Cupid…. the stomach is a muddy landscape of flesh…”
  7.  Musée du Louvre: Apollo of Piombino.
  8. Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway characterized the new directions scholarship in this field was taking in “The Study of Ancient Sculpture” American Journal of Archaeology 86.2 (April 1982), pp. 155-157. A response and dialogue appeared in William Hood, “In Defense of Art History: A Response to Brunilde Ridgway” The Art Bulletin 68.3 (September 1986), pp. 480-482, with a rejoinder by Mrs Ridgeway.

http://phdiva.blogspot.it/2015/03/hellenistic-bronzes-pride-and-prejudices.html

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

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

 

Giacobbe Giusti, KRAFT UND PATHOS: BRONZEN DER HELLENISTISCHEN WELT

Giacobbe Giusti, KRAFT UND PATHOS:BRONZEN DER HELLENISTISCHEN WELT

 

-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/content/ngaweb/exhibitions/2015/power-and-pathos.html