Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World is the first major international exhibition that brought together more than 50 ancient bronzes from the Mediterranean region and beyond ranging from the 4th century B.C. to the 1st century A.D.
It has been on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California, from July 28 through November 1, 2015.
“The representation of the human figure is central to the art of almost all ancient cultures, but nowhere did it have greater importance, or more influence on later art history, than in Greece,” said Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
“It was in the Hellenistic period that sculptors pushed to the limit the dramatic effects of billowing drapery, tousled hair, and the astonishingly detailed renderings of veins, wrinkles, tendons, and musculature, making the sculpture of their time the most life-like and emotionally charged ever made, and still one of the highpoints of European art history.
Large-scale bronze sculptures are among the rarest survivors of antiquity; their valuable metal was typically melted and reused. Rows of empty pedestals still seen at many ancient sites are a stark testimony to the bygone ubiquity of bronze statuary in the Hellenistic era. Ironically, many bronzes known today still exist because they were once lost at sea, only to be recovered centuries later.