The Eye of the Beholder

Every age and culture forms its own ideal of beauty. Artists have recorded our obsession with achieving physical perfection for thousands of years. This wide ranging survey of artworks looks and some of the many varied aspects of physical beauty and their representation throughout history.

Apollo Sauroktonos
The Atkinson is very excited to have loaned the fabulous Apollo Sauroktonos marble statue from National Museums Liverpool as part of this exhibition. Apollo Sauroktonos (Apollo the Lizard-Killer), is a Roman copy of a famous statue by the Greek sculptor Praxiteles. The  original work would date from the 4th century BC. Praxiteles is one of the most celebrated and important of the Attic sculptors, and although very few facts about his life are certain, it is known that he was from Athens. He changed the style of sculpting the human form from detached to gentle and graceful. This sculpture is a Roman 1st century copy. In this piece, Apollo is depicted as an adolescent god in the act of slaying a reptilian creature crawling on a tree branch. According to ancient Greek myth, Apollo, the god of light, reason, poetry, music and prophecy, destroys chaos by killing the creature.

Free talk also available.


Opening times of the Exhibitions are:

Monday – Saturday 10am – 4pm

Sunday 11am – 3pm

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