The word myth comes from the Greek “mythos”, meaning narration, but also sacredness and rite. It is through this reminder of the word that the Archaeological Museum of Naples (MANN), in collaboration with the Archaeological Park of Pompeii, inaugurated, on the 8th of June, a new exhibition entitled “Amori Divini”( “Divine Loves”).
Taking inspiration from the many mythological repertoires that the city of Pompeii reveals 2,000 years later, the curators of the exhibition, Anna Anguissola and Carmela Capaldi, with Luigi Gallo and Valeria Sampaolo want to tell the visitors, through a path in Greek culture, the history and the luck of some tales that are joined by two common narrative ingredients: seduction and transformation.
There are 80 works, a path to the discovery of the Greek-Roman myth and the reinterpretation that the European society gave to it, between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Frescoes from Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, as well as exceptional Greek jars from the Mann collection that, as in the programs of the director Paolo Giulierini, will be exhibited next year in the reorganized Magna Grecia section of the museum.
Greek literature and art often tell of love between men and women with sometimes peaceful interactions and others hostile and with at least one of the protagonists who changes shape transforming into a plant, an animal, an object or an atmospheric phenomenon. The envious and vindictive Gods seduce through metamorphosis and fall in love with common mortals, often beautiful and seductive little girls, with their body in constant change. The myth collects many of these stories with many local variations until the writer Ovidio, through his immortal work "Metamorphoseon", leaves an imperishable echo in Roman literature.
The Romans and especially the Pompeians, translate the myth as a seductive element for their guests, and the mythological scenes in parietal paintings are particularly appealing to the rich lords. Which were their favorite stories? The stories of Europe, but also of other characters of the classic myth such as Danae, Leda, Ganimede or Narciso, which reflect the relationship between man and deity, but also the two common themes such as seduction and transformation. There are four sections of an exhibition that occupy the spaces on the first floor of the MANN, next to the Meridiana salon. The four sections are: The substance of the myth, God changes form, God transforms, Body and Spirit. They are an integration of the exhibition "Pompeii and Greeks" which is going on in the Palaestra in Pompeii (next to the Amphitheater).
The exhibition will close on the 16th of October. According to the programs of Paolo Giulierini, from mid-September the MANN will host a series of events with writers, actors, philosophers and artists inspired by the themes of love and eros and the meaning of the myth in the contemporary dimension.
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