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  • The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece from the British Museum
  • Tuesday 5 July 2011 - Sunday 25 September 2011
  • Venue: Special Exhibition Galleries,NMWA

    Organizers: The National Museum of Western Art, The British Museum, The Asahi Shimbun Company, NHK, NHK Promotions Inc.,

    With the support of: Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Agency for Cultural Affairs, British Council

    Sponsor: Kao Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Mitsubishi Corporation, Daishinsha Inc., Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

    With the cooperation of: China Airlines, Japan Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo AG, The Western Art Foundation

    Number of visitors: 257,400

    Other Venue: Kobe City Museum
    24, Kyo-machi, Chuo-ku, Kobe, 650-0034, JAPAN
    Saturday 12 March 2011~Sunday 12 June (date ended)

The human form is one of the major and enduring themes in Western art. Based on their belief that the gods and humans share the same form, the ancient Greeks began the first in-depth study of this artistic theme and took it to great heights. The expression of the divine and the human as the physical reality of the body in its actual form reached a stage in Greece where the consideration of the human form was indivisible from representation of the divine form. As they expressed this bodily form in both painting and sculpture, they sought answers to the eternal aesthetic questions — what is beauty, and how can it be expressed through art.

This exhibition, through its selection of important works from the British Museum collections, and presenting diverse viewpoints, introduces the realm of the human body aesthetic as viewed and interpreted by the ancient Greeks — the athlete's firm musculature beneath supple flesh, the sensual beauty of a lithe goddess, and the stark reality of the elderly and the infirm. We hope that visitors to the exhibition will greatly enjoy this display of ancient Greek aesthetics, still as dazzling today as ever, even across the vast temporal and geographic divide.

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