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Gallery Talk: From Imperial Beloved to God—The Many Faces of Antinous

August 11, 2016
Meet in Griffin Court
Free with museum admission

The exhibition A Portrait of Antinous, in Two Parts inspires this exploration of the life and imagery of the young man who was the beloved of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.  Declared a god after his mysterious and untimely death, Antinous was worshipped throughout the Empire. In this gallery talk, Jeff Nigro, research associate in Ancient and Byzantine Art, discusses how the beauty of Antinous has continued to haunt Western civilization, from Renaissance connoisseurs to modern gay culture.

Left: Fragment of a Portrait Head of Antinous, mid-2nd century A.D. Roman. Gift of Mrs. Charles L. Hutchinson.

Right: Bust of Antinous, mid-2nd century A.D. Roman, with 18th-century restorations. Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Altemps, Rome, 8620. Archivio Fotografico SS-Col, num. 589475. Photo by Stefano Castellani.