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'A Powerful Pantheon: Mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome' comes to Reading Public Museum
Installation photograph, A Powerful Pantheon: Mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome, Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania.

READING, PA.- The Foundation for the Reading Public Museum announced the opening of A Powerful Pantheon: Mythology of Ancient Greece and Rome, which will be on display through May 15, 2022 in The Museum’s Works on Paper Gallery. The exhibition was organized by the Reading Public Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania and features works from the permanent collection.

More than sixty prints by European artists spanning from the 16th to the 19th centuries help tell the stories of the ancients, from the creation of the universe to the exploits of tempestuous gods and goddesses, the adventures of heroes, and the misfortunes of hapless mortals. Artists include Pietro Testa and Jacob Jordaens, with several prints made after works by Annibale Carracci, Peter Paul Rubens, Titian, Guido Reni, Correggio, Poussin, Claude Lorrain, and Salvator Rosa.

Perhaps one of the most significant contributions passed down to us from the Greeks and Romans is their interesting and complex mythology. A Powerful Pantheon celebrates the fascinating stories of ancient Greece and Rome that still captivate us today as we follow larger-than-life heroes, frightening monsters, humans at the mercy of unpredictable and violent gods, and a complex social system with extreme attitudes on justice and glory, the inevitably of fate, and the consequences of wickedness.

While fantastical, these tales give us unique insight into ancient Greco-Roman religion and how the ancients viewed the world around them. The Greco-Roman pantheon is made up of countless gods and goddesses, each with his or her own personality, attributes, powers, and values. Worshippers prayed and sacrificed to the gods in the hope that they would be granted favor and be saved from misfortune. On a larger scale, these myths also served to explain both the natural world and the conventions and customs of their respective societies, including gender roles and sexuality, and attitudes on fate, beauty, heroism, and the afterlife. Featured throughout the exhibition are eleven of the Olympian gods, including Zeus, Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus, and Dionysus, as well as other minor deities. Also included are the heroes Perseus, Heracles, Jason, Achilles, Odysseus, and Aeneas.

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