The exhibit at Palazzo Strozzi Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World runs from 14 March to 21 June 2015, after which it will go to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the National Gallery of Art in Washington. Comprising some 25% of the world’s remaining Hellenistic bronzes, the show is an organizational feat and a delight to the eyes. Critics are calling it the one show worth traveling to Florence for in 2015!
Why should you go see this show?
First reason: breadth.
The show brings together thirty-four museums in thirteen countries, with the largest number coming from the Getty Museum in LA, to which the show will travel in July 2015 – it will also go to the National Gallery of Art in Washington in December. They built special shipping crates for the occasion.
Second reason: Rare finds.
The show contains a lot of famous Hellenistic works that you may have already seen like the Sleeping Eros of the 3d century BCE from the Met in New York, a Greek work that the Romans appreciated and the Renaissance artists after that. But there are also a couple of lesser known works, many of which have fun backstories like having been discovered under water.
Third reason: Hellenism is excellent!
The Hellenistic age is the top moment in Greek sculpture, when – as the exhibit’s title says – they captured the true power and pathos of human expression in the still media of bronze and marble. Portraits of historical figures are displayed along side large-scale bronze gods, athletes and heroes, taking us on a discovery of the historical, geographical and political environment in which they were created.
Fourth reason: Renaissance influence
Florence is known as “The Renaissance city” and this is a rare blockbuster exhibit to focus on the Classical age. But as we well know, the Renaissance was inspired by the Romans, and the Romans aimed to continue the greatness of the Hellenistic period. So this show helps us to understand the Donatellos and the Michelangelos we see in Florence’s museums.
Visit the exhibition from March 24 through June 21 2015