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"Picturing the Past: Piranesi to Pearlstein"
2000-12-09 until 2001-01-21
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Greek gods and temples, Roman ruins, and other images from classical antiquity are an endless source of inspiration for artists throughout the centuries. The special exhibition Picturing the Past: Piranesi to Pearlstein, a selection of over 50 prints, drawings and photographs from the Santa Barbara Museum of Arts (SBMA) permanent collection illustrates the lasting legacy of the Greeks and Romans in our culture.

As early as the Renaissance, the study of famous works of art of the Greek and Roman civilizations was an essential part of an artists education. The city of Rome was an important destination for anyone who wished to study surviving examples of sculpture and the ruined remains of buildings. By the l8th century, Pompeii, Herculaneum, and other sites in Italy and Greece also attracted artists and provided them with a variety of subject matter. Over the centuries, artistic theory derived from the study of classical art and the interpretation of its principles took varied forms.

The persistent reference to classicism in western art, architecture, literature, and philosophy has left a lasting legacy of Greek and Roman ideas and images in our culture. Subjects and themes from classical mythology provided a new vocabulary of . Beginning in the Renaissance and lasting right through the 20th-century, artists as diverse as the Pre- Raphaelite Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98) and the great 20th-century master Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) used figures from Greek and Roman mythology in their work.


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