“Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife” at J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

“Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife” at J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

J. Paul Getty Museum is hosting an exhibition exploring depictions of the underworld in the art of ancient Greece and southern Italy. “Underworld: Imagining the Afterlife” is on view at the Getty Villa through March 18, 2019.

As per the official release, Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts says, “Some of the richest evidence for ancient beliefs about the afterlife comes from southern Italy in the fourth century BC, and the magnificent Altamura ‘krater’ exemplifies the monumental, elaborately decorated vases that were produced at that time. This important exhibition is the culmination of a two-year conservation project with the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples (MANN) to conserve and display this ‘krater.’ Our continued partnership with MANN has resulted in several successful collaborative projects including three of their splendid bronze treasures, the ‘Ephebe’ (Youth) in 2009, the ‘Apollo Saettante’ in 2011, and the over-life-size sculpture of ‘Tiberius’ in 2013.”

The highlight of the exhibition is a ‘krater’ made around the middle of the fourth century B.C, and found in fragments in 1847 in Altamura in the region of Apulia, southeast Italy. This ‘krater’ from Altamura represents the ‘Underworld’ populated with more than 20 mythological figures including ‘Hades’ and ‘Persephone,' the god and goddess of the underworld, the musician ‘Orpheus,’ the hero ‘Herakles,’ the messenger god ‘Hermes,’ and ‘Sisyphus,’ who was eternally punished by having to roll a giant boulder up a hill.  

Curator of the exhibition and associate curator of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum says, “Around thirty-five other ancient works have been chosen to highlight the famous inhabitants of Hades and to explore the ways in which individuals sought to achieve a happier afterlife.” The curator adds, “Monumental funerary vessels, such as the ‘krater’ from Altamura, are painted with elaborate depictions of Hades’ realm, and rare gold plaques that were buried with the dead bear directions for where to go in the underworld. These works, alongside funerary offerings, grave monuments, and representations of everlasting banquets, convey some of the ways in which the hereafter was imagined in the fifth and fourth centuries BC.”


For details please visit: https://www.blouinartinfo.com/news/story/3467204/underworld-imagining-the-afterlife-at-getty-villa-los-angeles


Founder: Louise Blouin




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