Exhibition

Permanent exhibition of Classical Antiquities at the Museum of Fine Arts 1

The permanent exhibition of Classical Antiquities presents the ancient classical tradition, focusing on the cultures of ancient Greece, Etruria, and Rome in the context of the entire Mediterranean world. The ancient cultures are presented in three parts from three different perspectives. 

The room Hellas – Italy – Rome brings to life the three most important traditions of Mediterranean art in classical antiquity. A union of cultures: this room highlights one of the most important shared characteristics of classical cultures: that they were never isolated, but open to influences from outside. Eros – Dionysos – Thanatos: the objects on display here illustrate aspects of the intellectual heritage of classical antiquity that may have a relevant message today.

The material from the Collection of Classical Antiquities is complemented by works of art on loan from other museums. The dialogue between cultures is also attested by “forgeries” that appear among the ancient objects as unique reinterpretations of ancient models.

The exhibition is intended for browsing rather than for continuous reading from the beginning to the very end. We do not offer an idealised picture of antiquity. Visitors will perhaps ask: “How could one live like that?”; at other times, they may feel a sense of astonishment that it was indeed possible to live that way. It is a decisive feature of ancient tradition that its message may be valid and relevant beyond antiquity – studying ancient cultures can lead us towards better knowledge of ourselves and our own culture.