Sunday, April 22, 2007


Last Friday, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its new Greek & Roman Galleries, 15 years after the project was initiated. The galleries house art created between about 900 B.C. and the early fourth century A.D., highlighting the evolution of Greek art in the Hellenistic period and the arts of southern Italy and Etruria. Natural light from skylights and arched windows of the main atrium made photography of the displays easier when we visited the galleries earlier this afternoon. Shown above are images I made of some of the astonishing displays - a marble statue of a youthful Hercules (A.D. 69-98), a sarcophagus (tomb) decorated with forty human and animal figures carved in high relief. The central figure in the sarcophagus is that of the god Dionysos seated on a panther. He is surrounded by larger standing figures of sturdy youths who represent the four Seasons. Other prominent displays that I found fascinating are the beautiful glass bottles, the bronze Etruscan chariot from the 6th century BC and fresco panels from the bedroom of Boscoreale. It is truly amazing to see these works that are among the most complete to survive from antiquity.

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