Hades abducting Persephone, fresco in the small royal tomb at Vergina, Macedonia, Greece (340BCE)


The Art of Ancient Macedonia and the Hellenistic Kingdoms

  • Begins: Wednesday 8 November 2017
    Until: Wednesday 6 December 2017
    (5 sessions on Wednesday afternoons, 2pm - 4pm)
  • Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H 8EP
  • Lecturer: Christina Grande

We consider the complex period of the fourth to first centuries BC: the Macedonian kingdom of Philip II and Alexander and the subsequent Hellenistic world. Public and private patronage continued visual culture of the old Greek world reinterpreting it for changing political, geographical and philosophical contexts. New styles portrayed traditional subjects in more extreme ways: intense emotion, realism, dynamic movement and portraiture that conveyed inner thought. Opulent finds and paintings from the Royal Tombs at Vergina reveal Macedonian wealth. Hellenistic kingdoms such as Pergamon became vibrant artistic centres, where great public monuments used Greek myths to proclaim power. It is a crucial period for understanding how Greek art was reinterpreted in ways that would influence the Roman world and Renaissance Italy.

The five sessions will cover the following subjects:

  1. Ancient Macedonia
    Philip II and Alexander and the new patrons of Greek art. The Royal Tombs at Vergina and other recent discoveries.
  2. Sculpture in the Hellenistic Kingdoms
    dramatic depictions of human motion and emotion; public monuments in the ‘baroque style’.
  3. Sculpture in the Hellenistic Kingdoms
    innovative studies of human diversity and the development of portraiture.
  4. Late Hellenistic art
    …and its legacy in the Roman world.
  5. The luxury arts
    goldwork, metalware, mosaic, glass, cameos and terracottas.


Suggestions for reading (some only available from libraries or second hand):

Lucilla Burn, Hellenistic Art from Alexander the Great to Augustus, British Museum Press, 2004.

J.J. Pollitt, Art in the Hellenistic Age, Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Andrew Stewart, Art in the Hellenistic World: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, 2014.


Christina Grande is Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Winchester. She has also taught Greek and Roman Art and Architecture, Classical Mythology, and the later reception of Classical art for Birkbeck for many years. Christina has also been a lecturer in Classical Art for the University of Leicester and for the Open University, and has also lectured for the British Museum Education Service, the National Gallery, Morley College, the City Literary Institute, as well for The London Art History Society.

Waiting list only

This event is fully booked. Members may apply for one of the limited number of waiting list places, but no payment should be made. If a place becomes available, the waiting list will be contacted in chronological order and payment will be requested at that time. Please contact the event organiser if in doubt.

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