Skip to comments.The Fall of a Worthy Foe-The Dying Gaul:Attalos I of Pergamon, National Gallery of Art
Posted on 01/27/2014 7:37:58 AM PST by lbryce
During the 230s B.C., Attalos I of Pergamon in Asia Minor decisively defeated marauding tribes of Gauls. Known for their muscular physique and the feral appearance imparted by the thick, manelike locks of hair they washed with water and lime, these Celtic warriors were at various times a terror to Greeks and Romans alike. In 387 B.C. they had plundered Rome itself.
"The Dying Gaul," on loan to the National Gallery of Art, in Washington, from Rome's Capitoline Museum through March 16, is a superb antique copy of a sculptural masterpiece originally intended to commemorate the Pergamene triumph. Attalos I (who ruled 241-197 B.C.) probably commissioned the original bronze sculpture himself, as part of a larger composition devoted to the theme of a vanquished but noble adversary. One other complete sculpture, also extant in the form of a high-quality marble copy, can be associated with near certainty with this larger composition: the "Gaul Committing Suicide With His Wife" in the National Museum of Rome's Palazzo Altemps.
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One other complete sculpture, also extant in the form of a high-quality marble copy, can be associated with near certainty with this larger composition: the "Gaul Committing Suicide With His Wife" in the National Museum of Rome's Palazzo Altemps.
The "Gaul Committing Suicide With His Wife"
Often, art has served as basis for others to emulate in achieving a legacy larger than life. There are those among us, leaders, heads of state, illegitimate and unpopular, vainglorious, self-aggrandizing, bereft of any legacy of their own to speak of, might consider following in the footsteps of those exemplified in art, sculpture, as their only means to achieving immortality.
Art, history, the ancient world, a trifecta of sunkenciv indulgences.
Just after that battle, someone invented clothes
We saw it earlier this month. Anyone who can get to the National Gallery should just go.
One of the most beautiful sculptures in western art. I saw it thousand years ago at the Capitoline.
My husband just said he has never seen it. I think we’ll do a trip to Washington - it’s only 3/4 hours away. Hurray for the National Gallery for this coup!
“What a [community activist] is now about to perish!”
I don’t think the museum allows taking pictures of works of art on display, but if they do, it would be great to have you post them here at FR, at your convenience.
Uh,oh. Nekid pictures of the Wookie making the rounds again on the internets.
I think you can take photos - I took a photo of a Giorgione/Titian there several years ago - I was given permission. Nice to know the Gaul is with us. He has always reminded me of Kirk Douglas in “The Vikings,” lol.
Yup. That poor cat!
You are quite the romantic!
Not really. I just like art & movies.
The Gallacian will be at the NGA till March 16. EVERYONE there was snapping photos. He’s in the rotunda area at the main entrance. Surprisingly, nothing really special about the presentation.
Right now there’s a special exhibition on Byzantium that’s just wonderful. http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/features/byzantine.html. NGA is such a magnificent place, hard to imagine just how much priceless art is housed there.
You might consider parking at the Greenbelt Metro station, close to where I95 meets the Beltway, and taking Metro to the Archives stop 1+ blocks from the NGA. It’s a 26 minute ride; $3.50/$2.30 for seniors (plus $1 for farecard) and $4.50 parking from 10:30a till closing (@ midnight). A LOT less time and $$ than driving to downtown to park. Just a thought.
It's strange that what most of the world saw as a symbol of slavery, the Gauls saw as the badge of a free man.
Thanks for the info. Interestingly, when I saw the Gaul at the Capitoline, he was in the entrance hall, almost overlooked it seemed to me.
The torc led people to believe for many years that he was a gladiator rather than a warrior.
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