Five Week Course (Mondays only) exploring the myths of Greece and Rome
22 October – 19 November, 11am – 1.30pm
Even before the Renaissance gave new life to European art and society drawing on the literature, art and architecture of the classical past, medieval artists had clung to Greek and Roman mythology as a valuable source of subject matter. Its importance flourished in the 15th and 16th centuries, and did not wain in the subsequent years, even though its growing status at the centre of European culture was at odds with the profoundly Christian nature of western society: there is not a single room in the Wallace Collection where its influence is not felt.
Over five-weeks we will explore the myths of Greece and Rome, introducing the Gods and Goddesses who were the protagonists of these remarkable stories. We will consider what it is that made them so attractive to the artists and thinkers from societies as diverse as Renaissance Italy and the Courts of 18th Century France, while trying to work out how they justified their interest in the pagan past in the face of Christian disapproval.
Each morning and afternoon we will introduce a variety of topics in the lecture theatre before seeking out relevant works in the museum’s collection, drawing on the full range of media from painting and sculpture to furniture, ceramics and armour, enabling us to build up a strong understanding not only of the myths themselves, but also of the Wallace Collection as a whole. Taught by Dr Richard Stemp.
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