Giacobbe Giusti, Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

 

Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena.

Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena. Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

A fragment of the colossal sculpture “Head of a Youth” is among the ancient art works on display at the Met’s exhibition of Hellenistic art.

A fragment of the colossal sculpture “Head of a Youth” is among the ancient art works on display at the Met’s exhibition of Hellenistic art.Credit Photograph courtesy the Met Museum

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

 

The Borghese Krater. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 40-30 B.C. Marble

The Borghese Krater. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 40-30 B.C. Marble RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resource, NY

Giacobbe Giusti, ‘Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World’

Statue of a Roman General (The Tivoli General). Roman, Late period, ca. 80-60 B.C. Marble

Statue of a Roman General (The Tivoli General). Roman, Late period, ca. 80-60 B.C. Marble Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma

Mass Invasion of Greek Art Comes to the New York Met

The rare treasures of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin will be on display

By

Eben Shapiro

Rhyton in the form of a Centaur Greek, Seleucid, Hellenistic period, ca. 160 B.C. Silver with gilding
Rhyton in the form of a Centaur Greek, Seleucid, Hellenistic period, ca. 160 B.C. Silver with gilding Antikensammlung, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
The Akropolis of Pergamon, by Friedrich (von) Thiersch, 1882. Pen and ink with watercolor on canvas
The Akropolis of Pergamon, by Friedrich (von) Thiersch, 1882. Pen and ink with watercolor on canvas SMB/Antikensammlung
Mosaic Emblèma with Itinerant Musicians, Roman, Late Republican period, 2nd-1st century B.C.
Mosaic Emblèma with Itinerant Musicians, Roman, Late Republican period, 2nd-1st century B.C. Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples
The Vienna Cameo Greek (Ptolemaic), Early Hellenistic period, 278-270/69 B.C. Ten–layered onyx
The Vienna Cameo Greek (Ptolemaic), Early Hellenistic period, 278-270/69 B.C. Ten–layered onyx Antikensammlung, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Statuette of a Veiled and Masked Dancer (The Baker Dancer). Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd-2nd century B.C. Bronze.
Statuette of a Veiled and Masked Dancer (The Baker Dancer). Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd-2nd century B.C. Bronze. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Pair of Armbands with Triton and Tritoness. Greek, Hellenistic period, ca. 200 B.C. Gold and silver.
Pair of Armbands with Triton and Tritoness. Greek, Hellenistic period, ca. 200 B.C. Gold and silver. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Small statue of Alexander the Great astride Bucephalos Roman, Late Republican or Early Imperial period, second half of the 1st century B.C.; copy of a Greek original of ca. 320-300 B.C. Bronze
Small statue of Alexander the Great astride Bucephalos Roman, Late Republican or Early Imperial period, second half of the 1st century B.C.; copy of a Greek original of ca. 320-300 B.C. Bronze Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples

 
Statuette of the Weary Herakles Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd century B.C., base early 1st century A.D. Bronze and silver
Statuette of the Weary Herakles Greek, Hellenistic period, 3rd century B.C., base early 1st century A.D. Bronze and silver Museo Archeologico Nazionale d’Abruzzo
Stater of Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysos Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 86-85 B.C. Gold
Stater of Mithridates VI Eupator Dionysos Greek, Late Hellenistic period, 86-85 B.C. Gold Epigraphic and Numismatic Museum, Athens, Greece
Portrait of a Man. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, early 1st century B.C. Bronze
Portrait of a Man. Greek, Late Hellenistic period, early 1st century B.C. Bronze Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs/Archaeological Receipts Fund
Sleeping Hermaphrodite Roman, first half of the 2nd century A.D. Copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century B.C. Marble
 
Sleeping Hermaphrodite Roman, first half of the 2nd century A.D. Copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century B.C. Marble Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma
 

The Pergamon Museum in Berlin houses one of the world’s leading collection of antiquities. But World War II badly damaged the building—bullet holes from large-caliber machine guns still pockmark it—and it’s finally in the early stages of a much-needed renovation. “The building was absolutely rotten,” said Dr. Andreas Scholl, the director of the Staatliche, the museum and research group that oversees the Pergamon. “The fire brigade kept threatening to close the entire place.” Most of the museum will stay closed, with the collection off limits to the public, until 2019.

For New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the rotting of the Pergamon gave it a rare opportunity to get its hands on the some of the most prized objects of the Hellenistic period. Next week, the Met will open one of the most ambitious exhibitions of Greek art in the museum’s history, “Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World.” At the heart of the show are 73 pieces on loan from the Pergamon. “We lent very, very liberally,” said Dr. Scholl.

 

“This won’t happen again,” said Carlos A. Picón, the curator in charge of the Greek and Roman Art department at the Met. “Once the museum reopens, they won’t send one-third of its collection here.”

Dr. Scholl said the only piece he was unwilling to send was a famous marble head of the ruler Attalus. The piece is renowned for its tousled hair, and a curator was worried that the many curls were too fragile to withstand the rigors of travel. (Classical sculptors loved playing with the contrast between a figure’s smooth marble skin and the gnarly, robust beards of figures like Zeus.)

Thanks to the core provided by the Pergamon collection, “this is the largest and most comprehensive show” the museum’s Greek and Roman department has undertaken, said Mr. Picón. It’s also the department’s first major show since the Met completed its own renovation in 2007, a 15-year, $223 million project that Mr. Picón presided over.

Experts say “Pergamon” is the first major-museum show to focus on the art of the Hellenistic period, which dates from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. to the suicide of Cleopatra in 30 B.C. The exhibition, which opens Monday and closes July 17, will not travel outside of New York.

Pergamon, in modern day Turkey, was one of the wealthiest cities of the ancient world, coming into its own as Athens was in decline and before the rise of Rome. “It is one of the top-five hit-parade ancient cities,” said Mr. Picón.

For the past six years, Mr. Picón and his staff have made dozens of trips to nearly 50 museums in 12 countries, pulling together loans for the blockbuster show.

One of the most dramatic pieces they were able to borrow is an Athena statue that weighs over three tons. It was shipped in three sections from the Pergamon in Berlin and carefully reassembled in the Met galleries.

The Hellenistic period is a challenging time for art historians. It is not marked by a single school of artistic development, and artists worked in many styles with many materials. So instead of having a thematic show, the Met focused on what the museum trade calls “an objects show.”

The galleries are filled with exquisite ancient glass, opulent jewelry, engraved cameos, mosaics, lifelike bronze sculptures and dramatic marble statues. Many have never traveled to the U.S. before. “I can’t claim that every single object is the best of its type, because I would be boasting,” said Mr. Picón, but “this is the top 1% of what has survived in terms of quality.”

Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena.
Crayton Sohan of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, left, and Wolfgang Massmann, head stone conservator from the Antikensammlung, Berlin, position the head of an immense 10-foot-tall marble statue of Athena. Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY

Mr. Picón—who speaks five languages and has a reading knowledge of ancient Greek and Latin—did his undergraduate work at Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges and got his Ph.D. from Oxford University. He grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and when he announced his plan to become an art historian, specializing in Greek art, his businessman father, speaking on behalf of parents around the world, was taken aback by the impracticality of the profession. Mr. Picón recalls that his father then added, “You could at least have done pre-Columbian art.”

Touring the Met galleries last week as the Met installers put the finishing touches on the show, Mr. Picón was in a state of high excitement. Pausing before a marble Alexander in the first room of the exhibition, he declared it “the most beautiful Alexander, at the height of his youth.” A nearby small bronze of Hercules was “the best.”

In a nearby gallery he paused before “a spectacular” piece of ancient glass. “You would walk a mile to see something like this,” Mr. Picón said. Even the damaged pieces were perfect. Admiring a marble head that was split in half, he said, “If you had to break it, you couldn’t break it better!” Stopping before a glass plate borrowed from the British Museum, the curator exclaimed, “It’s a glass of staggering quality—one of the best pieces in the world.”

He delights in the tiny details, pointing out an Eros admiring himself in the mirror on a tiny plaster cast.

Mr. Picón is mischievous as well. One prone statue is displayed so that its shapely backside greets the approaching viewer. “You get a nice surprise when you walk around,” he said. The piece turns out to be a hermaphrodite. One of the workers installing the statue, he said, “went white” after discovering the statue’s dual nature.

Write to Eben Shapiro at eben.shapiro@wsj.com

http://www.wsj.com/articles/mass-invasion-of-greek-art-comes-to-the-new-york-met-1460568224

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

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Giacobbe Giusti: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

Giacobbe Giusti: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World

POWER14

 

by Mike Boehm Los Angeles Times

Here’s a paradox: Today’s art lovers would recoil at the thought of travel disasters, building collapses or volcanic eruptions afflicting their own communities. But over the next three months, visitors to the Getty Museum can enjoy a unique display of bronze statuary that was saved for posterity precisely because such calamities befell its ancient owners.

The show is “Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World,” running Tuesday to Nov. 1 at the Getty Center in Brentwood — an atypical venue for an ancient-art show, which normally would be seen at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.

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The two Getty curators who spent seven years organizing “Power and Pathos” say the 46 rare bronzes in the show needed to be seen in the best light and from all angles. The special exhibitions galleries in Brentwood afford space and natural lighting that the Villa lacks.

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Having spent up to 2,300 years buried far below the ground or sunken in ocean beds of the Mediterranean Sea, this is art that deserves a deluxe presentation, given all it has been through.

What’s most special about the exhibition, curators Jens Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin say, is that it’s the first to bring together so many prized and exceedingly rare works of its period and kind.

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Gallery and museum reviews: Full coverage

Gallery and museum reviews: Full coverage

For scholars it’s an unprecedented opportunity to eyeball one-fourth of the world’s known Hellenistic bronzes in one place, comparing and contrasting and perhaps leading to new understanding of how these works were created and what they meant to their ancient public.

For museum-goers, “Power and Pathos” is a chance to get a good sense of the complex currents that influenced creativity between the golden age of Greece, which historians call the “classical” period, and the dawn of the Roman Empire. The seeds of today’s conceptions about what art is for were planted in the Hellenistic world, as a burgeoning nonroyal upper class formed history’s first art market and began to commission works reflecting themselves rather than their rulers and their gods.

“All of what we have survived by chance, and we’re lucky to have it. How many more statues are under the sea bed or underground waiting to be pulled up, we don’t know.
— Kenneth Lapatin, curator

 

The Hellenistic period spans nearly 300 years, from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to Augustus Caesar’s triumph over Cleopatra and Mark Antony in 31 BC. The Egyptian queen was the last descendant of Ptolemy, one of the generals who had divided Alexander’s empire, which sprawled from Greece to what’s now Pakistan.

With a few exceptions, the statues on display were lost for centuries. Some were excavated starting in the 1700s from sites such as Herculaneum in Italy, which perished along with Pompeii in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Many were pulled from coastal waters off Italy, Greece, Croatia, Tunisia and Turkey, where ancient cargo ships had been scuttled by pirates or wrecked by storms. One star attraction, a bronze sculpture of a seated boxer with bandaged hands and a battered, broken-nosed face and cauliflower ears, was placed in a deep pit at the bottom of an ancient wall in Rome for reasons that remain a mystery.

“All of what we have survived by chance, and we’re lucky to have it,” said Lapatin, whose vertical shock of hair makes him the Lyle Lovett of antiquarians. “How many more statues are under the sea bed or underground waiting to be pulled up, we don’t know. They were ubiquitous in antiquity, but they are rare today.”

Bronze was valuable and easily repurposed for myriad practical uses, so statues made of the metal became antiquity’s equivalent of the passenger pigeon — except for about 200 known exceptions. “You also had ideological reasons” for their wholesale destruction, Lapatin said. “Early Christians weren’t interested in preserving nude statues of pagan gods, and this was ready cash.”

That disaster kept a precious few bronzes from destruction “is the utter paradox” that underlies the show, said Daehner, an affable, soft-spoken German. “You could call it the paradox of archaeology in general, but for bronze it’s particularly true and poignant.”

Silver lining

The show is itself a silver lining of sorts. It had its genesis in the 2007 settlement of the Italian government’s grievances over looted ancient artworks the Getty had acquired, in which the museum returned 40 suspect pieces to Italy, including some of its most prized holdings. But with the return of comity and cooperation, Getty curators could now approach the great museums of Italy with ideas for art loans and collaboration on exhibitions. In 2008 the Getty entered a pact for art exchanges with the National Archaeological Museum in Florence.

Looking for intersections between the collections, curators noted that each sported magnificent Hellenistic bronzes — among them the “Getty Bronze,” a famous statue of a young athlete that was netted from the Aegean Sea by Italian fisherman, and the “Herm of Dionysos,” a Getty-owned example of one of the quirkiest forms of ancient art.

From there, they approached dozens of other museums, landing loans from 30 institutions in 12 countries — among them the Metropolitan Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, British Museum, the Prado and the Louvre.

“Many are national treasures or highlights of a museum,” Lapatin said. That so many pitched in — often with works never seen before in the United States — shows how strong the exhibition’s allure has been for scholars of ancient art. “It’s a testament to bringing them out of splendid isolation to [the Getty], where they’re talking to each other. No one has ever done this before.”

Today’s international politics kept a few desired sculptures out of reach. “There are pieces in Baghdad and Tehran that would have been very interesting to have in the show,” Daehner said. “In 2008 the world looked very different than it is now,” and getting them momentarily had seemed possible.

The display of the Getty’s two prime Hellenistic bronzes embodies the quest for consonance, comparison and contrast that Daehner and Lapatin were after. Viewers will get a simultaneous glimpse of the life-size “Getty Bronze,” which usually occupies a room of its own at the Villa, alongside similar works from the British Museum and the Museum of Underwater Antiquities in Athens. Together, Daehner said, they reflect the Hellenistic convention of idealizing the human body, yet making it more accessibly natural than would have been the case in the 400s BC and earlier.

Herms were boundary markers with a sculpted head at the top of a narrow pedestal and male genitalia poking out farther down. The genre gets its name from the god Hermes, whose head frequently topped the markers. The Getty’s herm shows a head of the god Dionysos, its hat and beard calling to mind portraits of the English King Henry VIII. To its right stands a near doppelganger fetched from coastal waters of Tunisia.

Were they made by the same sculptor or workshop? If so, why is the coloration so different, and why does the Tunisian herm have subtle, intricate touches — such as a fully detailed head of hair on the back of his scalp — that the Getty version is missing?

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The word “pathos” in the show’s title reflects the objects’ lost-and-found history of past tragedy as well as Hellenistic sculptors’ key aesthetic breakthrough — using bronze, which is more pliable than marble, to register in acute detail the often careworn lives of mere mortals after centuries in which the main purpose of statuary was to capture the otherworldly majesty of gods and heroes.

A gallery devoted to depictions of ordinary humans rather than gods or rulers shows how Hellenistic sculptors began to embody common feelings. The face of a large “Portrait Statue of a Boy,” dug from the sands on the island of Crete, wears a look that projects sneering disgust mixed with an aching throb of sadness. The angsty defiance of adolescents apparently predates Holden Caulfield and Kurt Cobain by two millennia.

“Our modern idea of capturing character or personality is something that happens in the Hellenistic age that isn’t there before,” Daehner said. “Expression, emotion and a certain psychological realism get into a portrait.”

The Hellenistic period was the era when Greece had ceased being a great power in the Mediterranean world, yet it triumphed culturally by spreading its styles and ideas far beyond the reaches of the Athenian empire at its height in the 400s BC.

Alexander, the Macedonian king whose father had conquered Greece, carried his sword — and Greek notions about art and philosophy that he’d learned from his teacher, Aristotle — through most of the world known to ancient Europeans.

Lapatin said that one way to understand what was happening in bronze sculpture during the era is to follow the money.

“It’s an economic development,” he said. “In the classical period if you were wealthy you made a donation to the sanctuary” and commissioned a statue of a god. “In Hellenistic times, you could decorate your villa. The wealthy had more options, and a lot was about displaying statues and showing you were wealthy and cultured.” The vast sacked riches of Persia, Alexander’s key conquest, contributed mightily to enlarging this new class of private art consumers, Lapatin said.

The show that brings together so much begins with nothing at all: an empty, broken stone pedestal that, like many others across the landscape from the eastern Mediterranean to central Asia, sports an inscription but no statue.

“It’s signed by Lysippos, the favorite sculptor of Alexander the Great,” Lapatin said. Lysippos was credited in ancient times with having created more than 1,500 bronze statues, “none of which survives,” he said, except via copies made by others.

While Hellenistic artists and their public responded to new cultural currents, they did not turn their backs on tradition. A bust of a man, signed by the Greek sculptor Apollonios, is a blatant knockoff of a famous full-length statue of a spear-carrier by Polykleitos, who’d lived 400 years earlier.

“The original is famous, but it’s a good copy, so he signs it,” Lapatin said. “It’s got the cachet of an old master.” As a business move, that seems downright contemporary.

Although it is organized by the two Getty curators, “Power and Pathos” first was seen at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence. Its last stop, after the Getty, is the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

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

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

POWER15

 

Rare Bronze Sculptures from Hellenistic Period on View at National Gallery of Art, Washington, December 13, 2015–March 20, 2016

Unknown Artist (Hellenistic Bronze) Athlete "Ephesian Apoxyomenos", AD 1- 90 bronze and copper Kunsthistorisches Museum, Antikensammlung, Vienna

Unknown Artist (Hellenistic Bronze)
Athlete “Ephesian Apoxyomenos”, AD 1- 90
bronze and copper
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Antikensammlung, Vienna

Washington, DC—An unprecedented exhibition of some 50 rare bronze sculptures and related works from the Hellenistic period will be on view at the National Gallery of Art from December 13, 2015, through March 20, 2016. Previously at the Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World showcases bronze sculptures that are remarkably lifelike, often enhanced by copper eyelashes and lips and colored glass or stone eyes. Of the many thousands of bronze statues created in the Hellenistic period, only a small fraction is preserved. This exhibition is the first to gather together so many of the finest surviving bronzes from museums in Europe, North Africa, and the United States.

“We are delighted to present visitors with this rare opportunity to see these dazzling works up close,” said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. “We are grateful to the lenders—museums in Austria, Denmark, France, Georgia, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Spain, Tunisia, the United States, and the Vatican—as well as Bank of America for their generous support.”

During the Hellenistic period—generally from the late fourth century BC to the first century AD—the art and culture of Greece spread throughout the Mediterranean and lands once conquered by Alexander the Great. Through the medium of bronze, artists were able to capture the dynamic realism, expression, and detail that characterize the new artistic goals of the era.

“The works from the Power and Pathos exhibition represent a turning point in artistic innovation during one of the most culturally vibrant periods in world history,” said Rena De Sisto, global arts and culture executive, Bank of America. “We’re thrilled to be the National Tour Sponsor and to help bring this important collection to D.C. in hopes to inspire curiosity and wonder.”

Exhibition Organization and Support

The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, in collaboration with the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana.

Bank of America is the national sponsor of this touring exhibition.

The exhibition is also made possible through a generous gift from an anonymous donor. The Marshall B. Coyne Foundation has provided additional support through the Fund for the International Exchange of Art. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Exhibition Highlights

Power and Pathos brings together the most significant examples of Hellenistic bronze sculpture to highlight their varying styles, techniques, contexts, functions, and histories. The conquests of Alexander the Great (ruled 336–323 BC) created one of the largest empires in history and ushered in the Hellenistic period, which ended with the rise of the Roman Empire. For some 300 years after Alexander’s death, the medium of bronze drove artistic experimentation and innovation. Bronze—surpassing marble with its tensile strength, reflective surface, and ability to hold the finest detail—was used for dynamic poses, dazzling displays of the nude body, and vivid expressions of age and character.

“Realistic portraiture as we know it today, with an emphasis on individuality and expression, originated in the Hellenistic period,” said exhibition curator Kenneth Lapatin.  Jens M. Daehner, co-curator, added, “Along with images of gods, heroes, and athletes, sculptors introduced new subjects and portrayed people at all stages of life, from infancy to old age.” Both Daehner and Lapatin are associate curators in the department of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

A widespread ancient phenomenon, Hellenistic art is found not only throughout the Mediterranean, but also in regions far away, such as Thrace in the Balkans, ancient Colchis (in the Republic of Georgia), and the southern Arabian Peninsula. Through several thematic sections, the exhibition emphasizes the unique role of bronze both as a medium of prestige and artistic innovation and as a material exceptionally suited for reproduction. The exhibition is divided into sections as follows:

Introduction: The Rarity of Bronzes: Large-scale bronze statues have rarely survived from antiquity, as most were melted down so that their valuable metal could be reused. Rows of empty stone pedestals can still be seen at ancient sites. Lysippos of Sikyon (c. 390–305 BC), the favorite sculptor of Alexander the Great, created 1,500 works in bronze, according to Pliny the Elder. None survive; their existence is known partly from later copies and statue bases inscribed with the artist’s name, such as the one on view at the beginning of the exhibition. Many bronzes known today have been preserved only because they were accidentally buried or lost at sea, then recovered centuries later by archaeologists, divers, and fishermen.

Alexander and His Successors: Lysippos is credited with creating the image of Alexander the Great that artists have perpetuated through the centuries: a man of vigor, fit and lithe, clean-shaven, with long, windswept hair. The statuette Alexander the Great on Horseback, in bronze with silver and copper inlays, may be a small-scale version of a lost monumental sculpture that Lysippos created to commemorate Alexander’s victory over the Persians in 334 BC. Portraits of Alexander provided the models that his successors would emulate, resulting in the distinctive genre of ruler portraiture that emerged in the Hellenistic period.

Rulers and Citizens/Likeness and Expression: Realistic features and depictions of emotional states are hallmarks of Hellenistic sculpture. Individualized portraits superseded the largely idealized types of earlier periods. Hellenistic portraits emphasize pathos—lived experience—appealing to viewers’ emotions by conveying an individual’s state of mind or experience of life through facial expression or gestures. Citizens and benefactors honored with statues were shown clothed, while rulers were portrayed nude or in armor, sometimes on horseback. Nudity, traditionally reserved for images of athletes, heroes, and gods, became an artistic attribute of Hellenistic rulers or military leaders.

Bodies Real and Ideal: Hellenistic sculptors continued to create idealized figures, but with a new interest in realistic detail and movement, as seen in the Boy Runner, a statue of a boy athlete shown only at the National Gallery of Art.  Many artists took inspiration from Lysippos, often considered the most important artist of the Hellenistic period. He specialized in athletic figures in their prime, emphasizing their muscles and rendering their hair disheveled from sweat and exercise. Lysippos also introduced new, elongated proportions and smaller heads, making his figures appear taller and more graceful than those of the Classical period.

Apoxyomenos and the Art of Replication: The process of casting bronze statues in reusable molds encouraged the production of multiple copies of the same statue. The image of an athlete known as an Apoxyomenos (“scraper”) appears in two bronze versions: a full-length statue excavated at Ephesos in present-day Turkey (on loan from the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria) and a bronze head known since the 16th century (now in Fort Worth, Texas), which once formed part of a comparable statue. Athletes competed nude, their bodies coated in oil; after exercising, they scraped themselves clean with a strigil, a curved implement that removed the oil and accumulated dust and grime.

Images of the Divine: The expressive capabilities of bronze and the dynamic styles of Hellenistic sculpture were adapted to representations of divine beings. Their images became less ideal and more realistic or “human.” The statuette Weary Herakles, for example, shows the hero fatigued rather than triumphant after completing the labors that earned him immortality. The love-god Eros, formerly shown as an elegant adolescent, is transformed into a pudgy baby, inspiring Roman images of the god Cupid and putti of the Italian Renaissance. In the Hellenistic era, deities became more accessible, now thought of as living beings with changing physical and emotional states.

Styles of the Past/Roman Collectors and Greek Art: A high regard for history characterizes the Hellenistic period. Artists created statues and statuettes in styles from both the recent and distant past. Statues of Apollo on view echo the stiff frontal figures of youths known as kouroi that were dedicated in Greek sanctuaries and cemeteries throughout the sixth century BC. In contrast, a bust of the Doryphoros (Spear Bearer) copies a work by Polykleitos, one of the most famous classical sculptors of the fifth century BC.  Most of the sculptures in this section adorned the villas and gardens of prominent Romans who eagerly collected Greek works of art, including the famouse statuette known as the Dancing Faun (Pan), found in the atrium of the House of the Faun in Pompeii, another work shown only in Washington.

From the Hellenistic to the Augustan Era: The Augustan era saw a renewed interest in the idealized styles of Classical Greece. Augustus, the first Roman emperor (ruled 27 BC–AD 14), favored the Classical style for much of his official art to associate his reign with the golden age of fifth-century Athens under Pericles. The sculpture of a boy wearing a himation, a large rectangle of cloth wrapped around the waist, and the nude statue of a youth known as the Idolino (“little idol”), exemplify this trend.

Film and Audio Tour

A film produced by the Gallery in conjunction with the exhibition and made possible by the HRH Foundation provides an overview of art of the Hellenistic period. Narrated by actor Liev Schreiber, the film includes new footage of the ancient sites of Delphi, Corinth, and Olympia, which once were crowded with bronze statues.

For the first time, the Gallery is offering a free audio tour that visitors can download to their mobile devices. Narrated by Earl A. Powell III, the tour includes commentary from exhibition curators Jens M. Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin, and bronze specialist Carol C. Mattusch of George Mason University.

Curators and Catalog

The exhibition curators are Jens M. Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin, both associate curators in the department of antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Susan M. Arensberg, head of the department of exhibition programs, is the coordinating curator for the National Gallery of Art.

Published by the J. Paul Getty Museum, the fully illustrated scholarly catalog is the first comprehensive volume on Hellenistic bronze statuary. It includes groundbreaking archaeological, art-historical, and scientific essays offering new approaches to understanding ancient production of these remarkable works of art. The 368-page hardcover catalog is currently available. To order, please visit http://shop.nga.gov/; call (800) 697-9350 or (202) 842-6002; fax (202) 789-3047; or e-mail mailorder@nga.gov.

General Information

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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
http://www.giacobbegiusti.com

Giacobbe Giusti, Found in the Salento Minerva Aeneid: the statue confirmed the landing of Enea

Giacobbe Giusti, Found in the Salento Minerva Aeneid: the statue confirmed the landing of Enea

 

 

 


These days the temperature reaches the threshold of 35 degrees, if not more. It is a charming place, where the Adriatic sea is the backdrop to the streets where a bright light is combined with limestone houses. A land with strong tourist, rich in culture and history. Meeting the head of the construction site, the archaeologist Amedeo Galati, on Cathedral Square and walk along the short stretch that separates the square from the site of the archaeological excavations. We are stopped a few times by locals trying to know the latest news about the findings. We feel the excitement in the country, because in those ancient stones is reliving a distant history millennia now, the time when the lands of Puglia rang the native language of the Mediterranean: the greek.

They are in Castro because again the epics are borne out in the archaeological finds. Or so it seems. An ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, would be found in Salento, where now stands Castro. That would be the “fortress with the temple of Minerva” where, in the legend told nell”Eneide ‘, Virgil placed the landing of the Trojan hero Aeneas, fleeing the city destroyed by the Achaeans.

From Book III dell”Eneide ‘, “the breezes hanker grow and become closer to open the port and the fortress appears the Temple of Minerva”.
The city, in Roman times, had its name Castrum Minervae.

Area of ​​excavations, which is near the Cathedral, spoke recently in a book, ‘Castrum Minervae’ (Farewell, Galatina 2009), Professor Francesco D’Andria, professor of archeology and director of the graduate school in classical and medieval archeology at the University of Lecce. In the text they were collected the results of excavations of 2007-2008. The current excavations, begun years ago, have recovered thanks to a project called “In the footsteps of Aeneas” and that is the implementation of an archaeological park over the area Comunale.

Just in recent weeks, the surprise. In the yard directed by the archaeologist Amedeo Galati, the important discovery of the torso, evidence of the presence on the site of a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, already in age messapica. That is the time when the South was integrated into Italian culture magnogreca.

The hypothesis that the artifact represents Athena is corroborated by the correspondence between the setting of the arms on the chest and found that observed in the iconography typical dell’Atena Iliac, the Messapian period, with a strong Eastern influence (see photo for comparison). That is confirmed by the previous discovery, always in the excavations at Castro, in town huts, a bronze statuette depicting the goddess Athena, now housed and displayed in the town museum, housed in the impressive castle, however, very well preserved.

The statuette has a Phrygian cap, a clear denunciation of inspiration iconographic Eastern. Moreover, the first settlement in the area affected by messapico gravitated Taranto, Spartan colony. Only in Roman times, the town messapica initially called – in all probability – Lik, would be renamed Castrum Minervae. The ancient name of Castro, Lik, is confirmed by the so-called map of Soleto, a fragment in black paint which is the oldest geographical map from western classical antiquity, currently preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Taranto and depicting the southern Salento. There they read clearly an indication of the Gulf of Taranto and the position of the city of Otranto (Hydruntum).

Castro-mappa di Soleto
Castro2

The torso found in the excavations at Castro, in town Capanne, has a size of 1.10mx0.90m, suggesting that the whole body should reach about 2.5m high, excluding the base, which are most probably attributed decorations found in the excavations.

Also carry a pretty picture of the time when the body is removed from the floor of the excavation, I had the chance to see, in their stratigraphic complexity, right next to a door of the old city, dating back to IV-III century. B.C.

Castro4- excavations

In recent days, they were also found her hand and left forearm. This gives hope that other surprising discoveries can emerge in further excavations. The history of these lands thousands of years continues to speak.

Castro5- scavi

Below, an aerial image with legend of the excavations in which is found the bust attributed to the goddess Athena.”

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, Puissance et Pathos, bronzes du monde hellénistique

Giacobbe Giusti, Puissance et Pathos, bronzes du monde hellénistique

Di: Palazzo Strozzi (Firenze)

Florence – Heureux les tempêtes et les naufrages qui ont conservé ces quelques unes des merveilles de l’art de la sculpture en bronze. La mer nous a donné non seulement le Bronzes de Riace, chefs-d’œuvre de grec classique, mais aussi de nombreuses autres œuvres plus ou moins intactes les siècles qui ont vu le grand projet impérial d’Alexandre le Grand. Nous sommes dans une période de grandes contaminations créatifs entre l’Occident et l’Orient grec mésopotamienne et perse, un vaste territoire qui a fait jusqu’à l’Indus pour limiter la force expansive du Macédonien. Des siècles d’expérimentation artistique nouvelle, séries de Périclès classique, que l’exposition “Puissance et Pathos, bronzes du monde hellénistique “, ouvert au public depuis hier 14 Mars au Palazzo Strozzi, documents avec 50 parmi les mieux conservés de bronze fonctionne dans les grands musées du monde: par Archéologique de Florence, Naples, Athènes, Thessalonique, Crète, al British Museum, Prado, la Galerie des Offices, il Metropolitan di New York, Louvre, le Kunsthistorisches Museum de Vienne et le Vatican.

 

 

L’impact de la rencontre avec ces pièces en grande partie retournés de la mer est vaste intellectuel et émotionnel. Jusqu’à présent, il ne était pas possible de les voir tous ensemble, comme à Florence, triés dans une exposition cohérente et bien illustré par les légendes (sept sections thématiques, divisé par sujet, changements de style et de sensibilité artistique et le potentiel de la technique de bronze) sous le chiffre conceptuelle exprimées droit: puissance et pathos. Décédé à la force d’innovation des cités grecques, commence L’impact de la rencontre avec ces pièces en grande partie retournés de la mer est vaste intellectuel et émotionnel. Jusqu’à présent, il ne était pas possible de les voir tous ensemble, comme à Florence, triés dans une exposition cohérente et bien illustré par les légendes (sept sections thématiques, divisé par sujet, changements de style et de sensibilité artistique et le potentiel de la technique de bronze) sous le chiffre conceptuelle exprimées droit: puissance et pathos. Décédé à la force d’innovation des cités grecques, commence l’ère des rois, ouverte Alexandrie aventure exceptionnelle. L’art abandonne le pouvoir archaïque de l’humanité qui a pris possession de son existence et de l’équilibre, en harmonie avec la divinité et de la nature, pour représenter l’image de la puissance héroïque et dramatique et, à la fois, les multiples facettes de la beauté qui devient de plus en plus une expression des émotions et des sentiments. Sentiments qui sont lus sur les visages de beaucoup de charme que celui de Diadoque, générale et héritier d’Alexandre (peut-être Démétrius Poliorcète) zone à cheval sur la quatrième et troisième siècles avant JC. têtes S portrait du premier siècle ou même le buste de Lucius Calpurnius Piso, le Pontife. Du point de vue de la compréhension technique et artistique, la pièce la plus intéressante est celle de ‘Apoxyomenos, l’athlète strigile, l’outil pour nettoyer le corps par la sueur, pas pris dans une fixité parfaite, mais le débit instantané de l’action. La statue complete conservé à Vienne est comparé à plusieurs répliques dans différents matériaux, comme la version en marbre Uffizi, ou pierre sombre. –

 

                                        Apoxyomenos (frontale)

La troisième section, dédiée à «corps idéaux, organismes extrêmes “, illustre les changements de style et la recherche de nouveaux sujets tirés de la vie quotidienne. La dynamique du corps est étudiée avec une grande précision de détails dans les personnages très différents de Kouroi classique puissante mais essentiellement immobiles, le modèle de qui retourne dans le goût fin de l’hellénisme. Reproduction peau parfaite, le mal rasé, Ride, la conception des muscles et les veines sont quelques-unes des possibilités que les subventions de bronze artiste

Organisée par Jens Daehner et le J. Paul Getty Museum de Los Angeles Kenneth Lapatin, L’exposition sera ouverte au Palazzo Strozzi jusqu’au 21 Juin. Ensuite, il déménager à Los Angeles (28 Juillet – 1 Novembre) de mettre fin à son voyage à la National Gallery of Art de Washington (6 Décembre – 20 Mars 2016).

– See more at: http://www.stamptoscana.it/articolo/cultura/bronzi-ellenistici-in-mostra-il-volto-del-potere-il-potere-dei-volti?lang=fr#sthash.VaEmpwzE.dpuf

 

Allestimento di Potere e pathos

http://www.giacobbegiusti.com