Wednesday, August 30, 2017


THIS stunning gilded replica of the famous Farnese Antinous/Dionysus statue at the Naples Archaeological Museum in Italy is among male deity sculpture headlining a new exhibition in Australia.

The famous DAVID ROCHE FOUNDATION in Adelaide is renowned for the collection of the eccentric 19th Century art maven David Roche. His palatial home is now a house museum.

Antinous is among the sculptures and paintings of male deities being featured in the museums new exhibition, entitled "MADNESS OF THE GODS Love, War and Transgressions."

Emblematic of the Gods and Goddesses, the David Roche Collection, from the facade of the new wing, throughout the galleries and his residence, abounds with Greco-Roman ideals.

His former swimming pool was testament to the Aegean.

The faux-marbled architraves and door reveals, the faux-malachite pilasters and skirtings, epitomise the perfection of ancient ornament.

From emperors divine and despotic, to deities and sirens, most of the works on display reflect the Classical ideal.

The pedestals and curtains, the ceiling decoration, and the chandelier centred with a follower of Dionysus dancing aloft a trio of Bacchant thyrsus, summon the mythological theme of his favourite/grandest rooms.

David Roche did not profess to be a Classics scholar, however he knew a god when he saw one! As Caesar in his school play at Geelong Grammar School, he continued to live the role as emperor in his own domain.

Senior Curator, Robert Reason, of the David Roche Collection has selected a wonderful mix of deities and heroes with divine powers, portrayed in all their glory and physical perfection.

He says: "We are also very privileged to be able to include Lord Leighton’s The Cymbalist, c.1869, in the exhibition. Generously on loan from a private collection in Queensland, this major work is exhibited in Adelaide for the first time."

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