November 16, 2016 at the State Historical Museum opened the exhibition “Gods and Heroes of Ancient Greece”, which was the central event of the Year of Greece in Russia and the Year of Russia in Greece.
The exhibition includes 135 works of art from museums and private collections in Greece, covering the entire period of antiquity – from prehistory to the Roman Empire. The exhibits covers all kinds of ancient Greek art: sculpture, ceramics, metalwork and coins.
Mythology in ancient Greece was the way of the world of knowledge. Religious cults permeated all aspects of private and social life of the ancient Greeks. Greek pantheon really captures the essence of their world. The gods were that invisible force that ultimately determine the fate of humanity in the case where they could not determine its own and embody people’s fears and anxieties. In ancient Greece, the gods had the same feelings and weaknesses, and that death as a mortals. Written sources and works of art make it possible to present a picture of exciting adventures of gods and scenes of eventful life. In addition, as the gods worshiped by the two most famous heroes, deified by people for their achievements – Hercules and Alexander the Great. The stories about gods and heroes, their personalities and adventures testify to the ingenuity of the Greek imagination.
At the heart of the ancient Greek religion lay the ability to create myths in which gods and heroes, endowed with human bodies, were close to the values and psychology of people. Of course, they were immortal and possessed supernatural powers, but they understand human motives and were influenced by likes and dislikes. Thus their favor could be achieved by prayer, sacrifice, sophisticated gifts, holidays in their honor and monumental sculptures in their sanctuaries. The richness of Greek material culture was generated by the approach to the divine. This tradition of visual, literary and performing arts related to the Greek gods, was so rich and diverse that was used in ancient times and the Middle Ages, and in modern times, forming a significant general cultural foundation of modern society. Representing the vast wealth of art from Greek museums, the exhibition aims to introduce the ancient and rich culture, showing the most important Greek gods and heroes, as well as the religious traditions and the main sanctuary.