At the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome, the exhibition Ovid. Loves, myths and other stories creates a comprehensive portrait of the Latin poet, addressing not only his literary output, but also looking at his psychology and his character. With over 200 works of art on show, Ovid is shown in his distinctiveness: a voice against the power of Augustus who condemned the poet to permanent exile on the island of Tomis (now in Romania).
This dichotomy is already clear in the second room. In the first section, there is the seductive statue of Venus Callipyge, semi-naked and surrounded by frescoes and objects depicting sensual scenes. In contrast, the other section houses an austere gallery of imperial portraits, a proto-royal family symbolising sobriety and integrity. Fundamental values in Augustus's policies that were certainly not shared by a dissident spirit as was Ovid
In mostra anche l’opera Maxima proposito dell’artista Joseph Kosuth: scritte luminose ispirate ai testi di Ovidio in latino e inglese
The other spacious rooms show the stories of several mythological characters, as illustrated in masterpieces of ancient, Renaissance and modern art. These are Jupiter, Diana, Apollo and many others: gods, beings who are superior and immortal, but also deceitful, vindictive and mean – worse than humans.
There are also tragedies, such as that of Pyramus and Thisbe who committed suicide, first one and then the other, like Shakespeare's lovers Romeo and Juliet. And there is the revenge against Niobe, mother of six sons and six daughters , who was so proud of her fertility that she boasted about it to the goddess Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis. The pair carried out a dreadful massacre, shooting all the children.
Visitors should not miss the words featuring on the walls. There are verses and quotes by the author of the Metamorphoses and the Amores in every room. And to bring the transversal cultural message to contemporary times, Maxima Proposito, the installation by artist Joseph Kosuth, is also on display: neon excerpts inspired by Ovid's work, in evergreen Latin or translated into English.
© Carlo Lannutti/LaPresse
The Opera di Roma, the new ballet season
The opening is on 28 December with Swan Lake. The director of the ballet company, Eleonora Abbagnato, talks about the 2019 programme
Nativity scenes in Lazio
From the nativity scene made of sand in St Peter's square to the religious paintings of Greccio and Corchiano. The magic of Christmas between creativity and tradition