the Main Thing?
From 29th May 2014
The exhibition „Is Beauty the Main Thing?“
concentrates on on the traditional depictions of beauty and ugliness,
spirit and authority in portraiture from classical antiquity.
Portraits represent the models not only by realistically
depicting them, but also point to their social prestige and political
role. This, in turn, inevitably gives rise to certain traditions
with deeply ideological backgrounds. The Greeks' approach to beauty
is largely voiced by poets and philosophers, thus affecting the
notion of ugliness.
Aesthetic concepts are inevitably intertwined with
ethic principles. The exhibition compels one to look past appearances
– Socrates the philosopher, though considered unattractive
by his contemporaries, was the embodiment of important ethical values
to them and the succeeding generations.
The epitome of beautiful ugliness – Medusa
– counterpoints Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Will Medusa's
petrifying gaze make us doubt the canons of beauty? Do we agree
with Democritus, who says that silence is becoming for women? All
the more since Sappho, the first and most important female poet
of the classical era, was vital in formulating the Greek approach
Yet beauty can prove to be dangerous, as proven
by the chosen myths. Thus, a balance must be found between beauty
moderated and frantic, or even more – to try to discard transient
Check for information on summer
tours at the museum and exhibition.