Tolerating, suffering, waiting, hoping

Penelope and other mythological unfortunates

Free guided tour of the Museum for Casts of Classical Works of Art

Inspired by the Stelldichein! #3 on Ritorno/The Year of Magical Thinking, curator Amelie Lutz guides us through the museum..

While Odysseus is known as the great sufferer, his wife Penelope also has to suffer much, waiting twenty years for Odysseus' return, not knowing if he is still alive. Penelope's grief for her possibly deceased husband is not only emphasised at the beginning of the Odyssey, but is also depicted in the well-known statue that shows Penelope seated, her lowered head resting on her hand. In addition to the demurely mourning Penelope, the tour will also look at other depictions of suffering mythological figures. The question of guilt is important here: many unfortunate figures have to suffer because they have committed hubris, arrogance towards the gods. This is also the case with Niobe, who boasted of having more children than the goddess Leto - whereupon Leto's children Apollo and Artemis killed all fourteen of Niobe's children. Also to be discussed is the statuary group of the dying Laocoon with his sons, whose expressive suffering has made the group justly famous.

More information on the museum website