Classic Beauties – Hermitage

Italian excavations

Europe seems to be entering a new Renaissance in the 18th century. Excavations take place in Italy. For example, the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum are discovered, which were once buried under the ash of Mount Vesuvius. The excavations generate a renewed interest in antiquity. Artists like Canova, Mengs and Thorvaldsen make a journey towards the excavations. There they are inspired by the treasures revealed by the excavations. They also want to create these kind of beauties themselves. Canova, for example, presents an ideal image of the human body in his sculptures. The new art movement that results from this is neoclassicism. A large selection of Canova’s sculptures and the work of other neoclassicists can be admired in Classic Beauties.

Grand Tour

The excavations attract more people. Many substantial young people make the so-called Grand Tour through Europe, with Italy being an important destination. Here they became acquainted with the classics and were able to develop themselves on a personal level. The Grand Tour was sometimes even seen as an essential part of the upbringing. A well-known figure that also went on Grand Tour was the German Johan Wolfgang van Goethe. He kept a diary of the journey in which he spoke about what he saw. This diary can also be seen in the Hermitage.

As a visitor of Classic Beauties, you will also go on Grand Tour. The exhibition takes you along the beautiful works created by the neoclassicists. You walk past a lot of paintings by Mengs, one of the greatest neoclassical painters. Connaisseurs of Greek mythology will recognize plenty. Scattered along the route, a number of works refer to the story of the downfall of Troy, for example. The Judgment of Paris of Mengs and images of Paris and Helena can be admired in Classic Beauties, for example.

After multiple different smaller spaces, you will end up in a large sculpture garden. The large statues of mainly Canova are located here. The masterpiece of the collection is ‘De Drie Gratiën’. This life-size statue of Canova shows the stunning graces of beauty, joy and happiness. Canova makes them look at each other and shows their bodies intimately intertwined. This was against the way they were normally depicted. The image is thus the perfect example of the neoclassicists’ aim, and that of the Classic Beauties exhibition; showing beauty.





Museum informatie

Hermitage Amsterdam
Amstel 51




Adults (from 12 years)€25.00
Children under 11 Gratis

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