The exhibition Gods, heroes and athletes. Body image in ancient Greece opened in the Regional Archaeological Museum in Alcalá de Henares (Madrid, Spain) last Thursday (March 12th). This exhibition featuring the concept of beauty in the ancient Greek world coincides with the exhibition of the British Museum opening on March 26 “Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art”.

The Greek canon of beauty has been assimilated by Western culture over the centuries, but the cult of the body today shows tendencies of becoming an obsession rather than a reflection of the qualities and virtues of a courageous spirit. The Regional Archaeological Museum explores this influence through the ancient representations of naked bodies. As an introduction to the exhibition modern images of worked-out bodies and models of beauty contests are shown. Then 95 works follow, including sculptures in marble, terracotta reliefs, bronzes, and ceramic vessels, dating from the 6th c. BC to the 1st c. AD.

The first kouros exhibited in Spain

The exhibition, curated by Carmen Sánchez Fernández and Inmaculada Escobar, brings exceptional pieces together, such as the Kouros of Apollo Ptoios sanctuary on Mount Ptoios, a statue of Polykleitos (both coming from the National Archaeological Museum of Athens) or a splendid collection of Greek ceramics ranging from Geometric to red-figure. This is the first time a kouros is exhibited in Spain. A total of 37 pieces come from Greece, the National Archaeological Museum, Athens and the Archaeological Museum of Tripolis, and some of them are for the first time shown outside Greece, as for example Kaveirian pottery with comic scenes, and some male torsos. These pieces mainly come from Attica, Boeotia, Southern Italy, Etruria and the Iberian peninsula.

The exhibition will run through July 26, 2015.

Where: Museo Arqueológico de la Comunidad de Madrid, Plaza de las Bernardas s/n, 28801 Alcalá de Henares (Madrid)

Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 11.00 a.m.-7.00 p.m. Sunday 11.00 a.m.-3.00 p.m.