Skip to comments.Classical Treasures, Bathed in a New Light [ Met Museum, NYC, Roman and Greek classics ]
Posted on 05/02/2007 10:13:52 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
The other day, apropos of the Metropolitan Museum's fine, new light-washed galleries for Greek and Roman art, a friend e-mailed to me a passage by Virgil. In it Aeneas, fleeing the Trojan War, arrives in Carthage and finds a temple for Juno under construction. He pushes open the temple's big bronze doors ("which made the hinges groan," Virgil reports) and "for the first time he dared to hope for life." He's astounded by the skill of the craftsmen and by the nobility and precision of a painting of the war. He starts to cry.
"It was only a picture, but, sighing deeply, he let his thoughts feed on it, and his face was wet with a stream of tears," Virgil writes...
Pompeiian frescoes... from luxurious ancient villas on the Bay of Naples, have been cleaned and moved from the museum lobby, where tourists used to mistake them for the coat-check concession. They are reinstalled next to the Roman court, where they look magnificent. I hadn't noticed until lately all the phalluses on the rooftops of the fantasy buildings, painted in cinnabar and blue, which decorate the murals from a bedroom buried by Vesuvius. The opulence of these scenes suggests something of what inspired Aeneas...
In total there are 57,000 square feet of exhibition space for classical antiquity, around 30,000 for Rome alone, equivalent to all the galleries at the Whitney Museum combined. You can exit Rome into African art then go directly into modern art, which depended on both Rome and Africa for utterly different ideas about the human body.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
A tessellated floor pattern with a center panel of a woman representing spring and, left, a marble bust of a man from the Flavian period. - Sara Krulwich/The New York Times
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Nice stuff. Makes me want to go out and rent some more episodes of “Rome.” :-))
A few weeks ago, on a sick day, I watched the whole first season (I got that nice box set). It is *not* for children, and isn’t really for fans of large scale combat sims (I don’t recall any offhand), but otherwise it has it all. The behind the scenes stuff is amusing, because the accents of the performers suddenly appear. :’)
Apparently, they didn't have enough budget to do big battles and didn't want to use computer images.
It's fascinating to see that society come to life. I understand they did quite a lot of research to try to get it right.
That 3D navigation thing for the actual building is neat too.
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