Defining beauty: the body in ancient Greek art

Experience the brilliance and diversity of ancient Greek art in this major exhibition focusing on the human body.

For centuries the ancient Greeks experimented with ways of representing the human body, both as an object of beauty and a bearer of meaning. The remarkable works of art in the exhibition range from abstract simplicity of prehistoric figurines to breathtaking realism in the age of Alexander the Great. These works continued to inspire artists for hundreds of years, giving form to thought and shaping our own perceptions of ourselves.

The exhibition features over 120 objects, including some of the most beautiful Greek sculpture to have survived from antiquity. In addition to iconic white marble statues, gaze upon exquisite terracottas, beautiful bronzes and fascinating vases that demonstrate the quality and inventiveness of ancient Greek art. Outstanding objects from the British Museum’s important collection will be shown alongside extraordinary loans from other world-class collections. For the first time in decades, a selection of the Parthenon sculptures will be displayed in the context of other great works of Greek art. Together these objects tell a visually impressive story of the human self.

Explore the human condition through ancient Greek eyes and see how everything in their world – sexual and social identity, gods, monsters and even natural phenomena – was portrayed in human form. Discover the significance of the British Museum’s Greek and Roman collection, and its importance as an integral part of a world story.

DB_Lelys Venus

26 March – 05 July 2015
Sainsbury Exhibitions Gallery
£16.50, Members/under 16s free

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