“The Wounded Achilles,” 1825, Filippo Albacini (1777-1858), Marble, (Chatsworth House Photograph © The Devonshire Collections, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of Chatsworth Settlement Trustees.)
The British Museum in London will host “The BP exhibition Troy: myth and reality” from November 21, 2019, through March 8, 2020.
Set to open in autumn 2019, it is the first major Troy exhibition in the UK. “Troy: myth and reality” will present the lasting legacy of stories from the Trojan War. These were first narrated by poets such as Homer and Virgil and are retold and reinterpreted even today.
The exhibition features works of art that are inspired by the tales of war, love, and loss — all connected to the Trojan cycle of myths and passed down through generations. On display will be the discoveries made by Heinrich Schliemann in Turkey in the 1870s. This discovery changed how Troy was perceived. The exhibition follows in the footsteps of the archaeologists and adventurers who set out to prove the existence of what was only narrated in epics. Starting from the Trojan horse to Troilus and Cressida, and Hollywood films and Contemporary art, the exhibition will display objects that tell the stories of Troy.
Since being displayed in London in the 1870s, this is the first time Heinrich Schliemann’s discoveries will be exhibited in London after a long time. The fact that Troy was a real place and the legends associated with them might hold a fraction of truth continues to be a source of fascination and debate. Berlin museums for the first time in nearly 150 years have loaned a large number of his original finds, including pottery and silver vessels, bronze weapons, and stone sculptures.
The exhibition will contain nearly 300 objects that will tell the story of Troy and its wider impact. A significant loan to the exhibition from the Ashmolean Museum is a Roman sarcophagus lid with a wheeled wooden horse. Depictions of the Trojan Horse are quite rare in ancient art; the horse is armed with a shield and helmet, suggesting the Greek warriors hiding within.
Eleanor Antin’s (b. 1935) photographic series “Helen’s Odyssey,” (2007), explores the history and its characters as a way to examine issues in the present. “Here, Helen of Troy is allowed to speak for herself in a series of imagined scenes from her life,” the museum says.
Founder: Louise Blouin