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Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World
December 13, 2015 – March 20, 2016
West Building, Main Floor

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: Power and Pathos presents some 50 bronze sculptures and related works, dating from the fourth century BC to the first century AD. They span the Hellenistic period when the art and culture of Greece spread throughout the Mediterranean and lands once conquered by Alexander the Great. Through the medium of bronze, artists were able to capture the dynamic realism, expression, and detail that characterize the new artistic goals of the era. This exhibition will feature works from renowned archaeological museums in Austria, Denmark, France, Georgia, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Spain, Tunisia, the United States, and the Vatican. As only a small fraction of ancient bronzes survives—most were melted down over the centuries--this exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to appreciate the importance of bronze in antiquity and the innovations of Hellenistic sculptors.

Mobile Audio Tour: For the first time, the Gallery is offering a free audio tour that visitors can access directly from their mobile devices.

Organization: Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Florence.

Sponsor: Bank of America is the national sponsor of this touring exhibition.

The exhibition is also made possible through a generous gift from an anonymous donor.

The Marshall B. Coyne Foundation has provided additional support through the Fund for the International Exchange of Art.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required.

Other Venues: Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, March 14–June 21, 2015
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, July 28–November 1, 2015

Image: Head of a Bearded God, First century BC, bronze, overall: 29 × 19.7 × 24 cm (11 7/16 × 7 3/4 × 9 7/16 in.) , The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Museum purchase funded by Isabel B. and Wallace S. Wilson

Related Resources

Teacher MaterialsFor teachers who wish to receive materials prior to visiting the exhibition, please contact HSStudioWorkshops@nga.gov.

Audio Tour

Mobile Audio Tour: Power and Pathos
Access this free audio tour directly from the browser on your mobile device. Narrated by Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, the tour includes commentary from exhibition curators Jens M. Daehner and Kenneth Lapatin, and bronze specialist Carol C. Mattusch of George Mason University.

A limited number of headphones are available at the 4th Street Information Desk. As a courtesy to fellow visitors, the use of headphones is required within the exhibition space.

Related Programs

Lectures and Book Signings

Bronzes from the Aegean: The Lost Cargos and the Circumstances of Their Recovery

What Makes a Statue?

The Afterlives of Alexander in the Byzantine World

A priestess or a goddess: The Problem of Identity in Some Female Hellenistic Sculptures

Bronze Sculpture of Hellenistic Macedonia

Kymothoi’s Journey

A poet or a god: The Iconography of Certain Bearded Male Bronzes

Nikias and Meliti’s Dream

Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

From Olympus to the Streets of Constantinople: The Byzantine Retirement of the Ancient Gods

Zeus, Isis, and Dionysus in Dion at the Foot of Mount Olympus

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World with Gianfranco Adornato and Andrew Stewart

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World with Christopher A. Gregg, Despina Ignatiadou, Kenneth S. Lapatin, Richard Mason, Carol Mattusch, and David Sider

Film ProgramsGreek Documentary Series

Press

Audio and Video

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Symposium VII: Hellenistic Invention: Theory and Practice
Audio, Released: June 28, 2016, (29:10 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Symposium, VI: Uses and Abuses of the Luxury Arts: Tryphe in the Hellenistic World
Audio, Released: June 21, 2016, (29:10 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Symposium V: Material Matters: Why Bronze?
Audio, Released: June 7, 2016, (29:10 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Symposium, VIII: Writing, Reading, and Thinking in Alexandria
Audio, Released: May 31, 2016, (29:10 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Symposium III: Identity, Continuity, and Change in the Hellenistic Cityscape
Audio, Released: April 19, 2016, (39:15 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Symposium, II: Muscle into Bronze: Athletics, Athletes, and Athletic Victor Statues in the Hellenistic Aegean
Audio, Released: April 12, 2016, (39:15 minutes)
Women in Hellenistic and Roman Athens: Visualizing Female Power and Wealth
Audio, Released: April 5, 2016, (44:32 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Symposium, I: “Living Statues”: Ancient and Modern Viewers of Hellenistic Sculpture
Audio, Released: April 5, 2016, (48:52 minutes)
Zeus, Isis, and Dionysos in Dion at the Foot of Mount Olympus
Audio, Released: March 29, 2016, (38:14 minutes)
What Makes a Statue?
Audio, Released: February 9, 2016, (54:15 minutes)
What Makes a Statue?
Video, Released: February 9, 2016, (54:15 minutes)
Bronzes from the Aegean: The Lost Cargos and the Circumstances of Their Recovery
Video, Released: February 2, 2016, (55:56 minutes)
Bronzes from the Aegean: The Lost Cargos and the Circumstances of Their Recovery
Audio, Released: January 26, 2016, (57:52 minutes)
Introduction to the Exhibition — Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World
Audio, Released: December 22, 2015, (710:57 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Apoxyomenos from Ephesos
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Portrait of a Man (Delos)
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Statue Base Inscribed "Lysippos"
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:13 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Portrait Statue of an Aristrocratic Boy
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Horse Head (Medici-Riccardi Horse)
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Idolino
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Lost-Wax Bronzecasting
Video, Released: December 15, 2015, (5:08 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Two Statues of Erotes Rising Lions
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Statue of Apollo
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Portrait of a Man (Copenhagen)
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Medallion with Bust of Athena
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Portrait of Aule Meteli
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Portrait of a Ruler
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Introduction
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (1:26 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Portrait of a Man
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos
Video, Released: December 15, 2015, (20:41 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Runner
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Weary Herakles
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Dancing Faun
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Herakles Epitrapezios
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Sleeping Eros
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Mahdia Herm
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World: Artisan
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (2:05 minutes)
Press Event: Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World
Audio, Released: December 15, 2015, (1111 minutes)