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Athletes, Warriors, Emperors and Gods: Nude Male Statuary in the Roman World

Date: Thursday, February 5, 2009
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium
Admission: Free; a ticket is required. Call (310) 440-7300 or use the "Get Tickets" button below.

The public spaces of the Roman Empire were filled with statues of men depicted nude. Learn why from classicist Chris Hallett, who offers a look at the fascinating variety of nude male statuary found throughout ancient Rome—fearless warriors, victorious athletes, elite emperors, and thunderbolt-wielding gods, as well as anonymous ordinary men.

What made nudity the "costume of choice" for the representation of all these figures, and what did their nudity signify? Hallett brings alive how ancient Romans would have viewed such statuary and shows how these figures' anatomy, gesture, and bearing offer clues that can help us understand this all-pervading yet enigmatic feature of Greek and Roman art.

The lecture complements the exhibition Reconstructing Identity: A Statue of a God from Dresden, which traces the modern history of a monumental nude Roman statue of a god.

About Chris Hallett
Chris Hallett teaches Roman material culture in the departments of history of art and classics at the University of California, Berkeley. An expert in Roman art and sculpture, Hallett has worked since 1991 at New York University's excavations in Aphrodisias in southwestern Turkey. He is co-author of the recent volume Roman Portrait Sculpture of Aphrodisias and author of The Roman Nude: Heroic Portrait Statuary 200 B.C.–300 A.D., which has been praised for "admirably and energetically contextualiz[ing] its enigmatic subject." (Art History). Hallett is currently working on a book on the visual culture of the late Republic and the early Empire and its relationship to earlier Greek art.

Statue of a God / Roman

How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.

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