The power of beauty: an archaeological exhibition in Mantua

"Spinario", bronze statue, 73 cm. Unknown origin, probably from Rome. Now it is in Rome, in the Capitoline museums, Palace of the Conservatives.
"Spinario", bronze statue, 73 cm. Unknown origin, probably from Rome. Now it is in Rome, in the Capitoline museums, Palace of the Conservatives.

 A few years ago, in 2008 to be exact, in the city of Mantua there was an exhibition, very beautiful. This exhibition included a wide range of works from the Archaic period of Greek art, Roman Empire down to the Renaissance. it is very difficult to see a similar quantity of works, all from different museums around the world (at least thirty museums have lent their works to this exhibition, among the most famous and best representative of the beauty of sculpture, vases and bronze).
The ideal of beauty permeates Western civilization from its roots, the desire for beauty is an instinct, common to all civilizations. This exhibition was a tribute to those two ancient civilizations who held in great regard this value, Greece and Rome .
So this article is meant as a tribute of a tribute. I will share the photos who, for their incomparable beauty, are remained in my mind, like a dream that one can not forget ... welcome into the dream, then!

Attic red-figured crater (470/460 BC)

Crater with friezes of lotus buds and leaves of ivy.   Symposium scene between young noblemen.
Crater with friezes of lotus buds and leaves of ivy. Symposium scene between young noblemen.

Attic red figured kylix (460/450 BC)

This kylix, of Penthesilea painter, is the largest red-figure cup ever found. The center features the mythical hero Theseus and his companion Peirithous. On the outer wrapper are depicted the youthful exploits of the attic hero.
This kylix, of Penthesilea painter, is the largest red-figure cup ever found. The center features the mythical hero Theseus and his companion Peirithous. On the outer wrapper are depicted the youthful exploits of the attic hero.

Volute crater, red-figures (400/390 BC)

The volutes have friezes of lotus flowers and palms. Scene of the Centauromachy.
The volutes have friezes of lotus flowers and palms. Scene of the Centauromachy.

Bronze copy of the original of the first century BC

Athena Lemnia
Athena Lemnia

Bronze statue, 74cm (530 BC)

Zeus, or Poseidon.
Zeus, or Poseidon.

Statue in bronze, 149cm (late first century BC)

Statuette of an ephebe lampholder, found at Pompeii in an excellent state of preservation.
Statuette of an ephebe lampholder, found at Pompeii in an excellent state of preservation.

Marble statue (mid-second century AC)

Head of God Ares; roman copy of a greek original.
Head of God Ares; roman copy of a greek original.

Clay figurine (second century BC)

Figurine of a dancer.
Figurine of a dancer.

Clay figurine (second century BC)

Statuette of a winged woman (Nike or Psyche?)
Statuette of a winged woman (Nike or Psyche?)

Part of a statue, ivory (I century BC)

A face in ivory (subject unknown; Roman/Late Hellenistic art)
A face in ivory (subject unknown; Roman/Late Hellenistic art)

Female head in marble (I century BC)

Late Hellenistic period (perhaps Aphrodite?)
Late Hellenistic period (perhaps Aphrodite?)

Marble head of a woman (second century AC)

Sleeping woman's face (known as "Ludovisi Furies" from the name of the collector)
Sleeping woman's face (known as "Ludovisi Furies" from the name of the collector)

Marble slab (I century AC)

Niobe and her daughters.
Niobe and her daughters.

Marble group (second century AC)

Group with a satyr and a nymph (Imperial Roman copy of an original greek).
Group with a satyr and a nymph (Imperial Roman copy of an original greek).

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Comments 6 comments

Cris A profile image

Cris A 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Ah so beautiful and exquisite! Antiquities are really so magical and nostalgic. And you are right in a sense, only in dreams can one imagine the hands that carved and created each object here. Thanks for sharing :D


Varenya profile image

Varenya 6 years ago Author

Thanks for your comments! These ancient works have truly something magical, something inexplicable, not only because of their perfection, there must be something more...

Is a pleasure for me to share dreams of such beauty!


MayaMex profile image

MayaMex 6 years ago

Wonderful site! Thank you.


Varenya profile image

Varenya 6 years ago Author

Thanks to you MayaMex, for your nice comment! I'm very glad you have enjoyed the images!!!


shyamchat profile image

shyamchat 6 years ago from Calcutta

Excellent photo feature !

Do you stay in or near Mantua ? If so, shall expect a photofeature on architecture of Mantua .


Varenya profile image

Varenya 6 years ago Author

Many thanks shyamchat! Unfortunately I reside in Milan and not in Mantua, however I've visited that city, many times, thus, perhaps in the future, I will surely write about its wondrous architecture!

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