Hellenism’s “Power and Pathos” on Display at Getty Museum

BRENTWOOD, CA – An exhibition of ancient artwork titled “Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World” recently opened at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Brentwood, CA, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“The Hellenistic Mediterranean represents the era when a humanistic heart began to beat vigorously within Western art,” writes the Times.
“Before, in Classical Greece, art promoted a ritualized, sometimes remote, even chilly Olympian ideal. Now, lived
experience was being embodied.
“Pathos, as the show’s title identifies this new aesthetic charge, flows like an electric current within these two powerful sculptures – and between them.”
The displays, the Times reports, include bronze sculptures from the period between the Death of Alexander the Great, in 323BC, and 31BC, when Rome completed its conquest of Alexander’s empire, which declined after hi
s death.
“Bronze was ubiquitous in Hellenistic sculpture,” the Times describes, “supplanting marble, but examples are rare today. The material for swords and ploughshares are interchangeable, depending on fluctuating demands. Tho
usands of sculptures were melted down, the bronze repurposed. But bronze made the epochal artistic change
possible. Molding and casting in molten metal allows for a sophisticated degree of refined detail that marble – especially painted marble, which was the previous standard –could not achieve. The sculptor Lysistratos, brother of Alexander’s favored portraitist, Lysippos, is even known to have made casts directly from living body parts.”
The display includes sculptures such as “Spinario,” on loan from Rome’s Capitoline Museum, which is seated boy intent on pulling a nettlesome thorn from the bottom of his foot.
There is also a sleeping Eros.
The show began at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, Italy, the Times writes, in the spring, and will conclude its tour at Washington, DC’s National Gallery of Art in December.
The Getty exhibition will conclude on November 1.


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