The exhibition “Following Hercules” tells the story of classical art, namely why casts of Greek and Roman art remain awesome and relevant, through the mythical figure of the famous hero. The exhibition opens tomorrow, Friday 25th September, in the Fitzwilliam Museum and The Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge, and runs through Sunday 6th December, 2015.
Hercules is one of the best loved heroes from ancient Greece. Known in antiquity for completing twelve tasks or ‘labours’ that confirmed his status as a god, Hercules is today tasked with one more – to show visitors to the Fitzwilliam how sculptures made in the Mediterranean millennia ago came to define western art. Hercules inhabits each of the forty objects on display, which range from exquisite miniatures and Renaissance prints, drawings and paintings, to Wedgwood cameos and a giant polystyrene statue. The result is an arresting visual experience of differing scales, styles and material, which gives ongoing meaning to the ‘classical’.
The Museum of Classical Archaeology’s cast of the Farnese Hercules is central to the exhibition’s story and awaits your visit on the Sidgwick Site. Hercules is one of the oldest casts on the site and one of several to have come, via the Fitzwilliam, from the same early nineteenth-century collection in Battersea. Come and meet him, discover more about his story, and more about the cast of characters that accompanied him to Cambridge. In the process you will see why casts of Greek and Roman art remain awesome and relevant.
Curated by Dr Caroline Vout