Temples for the Gods

Many of the people clambering over the ruins of ancient Rome in the 17th and 18th centuries were merely curious about the secret city half-hidden beneath their feet. Connoisseurs, however, were acutely aware of the ruins' original function - as temples for gods and goddesses, and monuments for famous Romans.

Art Exhibition previously on at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o T?maki in New Zealand.
From Saturday 26 January 2013 to Friday 26 July 2013

Milon Rending the Oak image Antique Cameos (Camei antichi): a frieze of bacchantes with Apollo and Daphne at the right image A cuirass between pairs of shields and vases image Marsyas and Apollo image Vue du Temple Hipetre de Pestum image Seated Huntress image Sleeping Huntress image Sketch of the head of the Farnese Hercules image Drawing from Sculpture: Head of Man image Winged Genius on a Horse image Bacchus and Ariadne image View of the Temple of the Sibyl at Tivoli (formerly called The Ruined Castle on the Mountain) image The Emperor Augustus and the Tiburtine Sibyl image Hercules and Putto image Borghese Gladiator image Hercules resting image The Judgement of Hercules image Hercules fighting Cerberus image Venus Embracing Adonis image Venus and Cupid image

Published by Amy Cooper on Saturday 02 February 2013.
Contact the publisher.

Collectors avidly sought out original sculptures, sarcophagi and fragments of buildings from the Renaissance onwards, and in later centuries there was a thriving market for copies of major works. The discovery of the ruined townships of Pompeii and Herculaneum, near Naples, caused a widespread classical revival throughout Europe, known as Neoclassicism.

Translations and reprints of early texts whetted the appetite of connoisseurs. The names of Greek and Roman gods, as well as the heroes of mythology, became familiar to many, their symbolic meanings adapted to illustrate the ideals of the times.

This second part of Temples for the Gods draws on works from our collections which illustrate this ongoing fascination with the past. The curious 18th century onlookers populating them are joined by the heroic figures who were commemorated or worshipped in these buildings long ago.

Level 1
Free entry