Wall painting with scene from the sacrifice of Iphigeneia, ca. 62–79 AD, Pompeii, Casa del Poeta Tragico, Fresco on Plaster © Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli, 9112 © Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli / Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo

ATHENS.- Τhe Acropolis Museum joins forces with the Onassis Foundation, an organization which has been contributing to Culture and Education for 42 years, in a rare and significant partnership. The end result is co-staging in Athens the “εmotions” exhibition, which scored such a huge success at the Onassis Cultural Center, New York. 

"εmotions" is a narrative exhibition which sheds light on the unseen world of emotions in the personal, social and political life of antiquity. To view the exhibition is to embark on a tumultuous voyage into the soul of Man, whose passions are here expressed through the filter of ancient art. Exhibits from the world's greatest museums tell stories of emotions in ancient Greek art through the gaze of the Acropolis Museum. Many of the exhibits are unique art-works which are on display in Greece for the first time. Many more from Greek museums are basking in the light of international interest for the first time. 


Head of Penthesileia, Marble, Roman copy of a Hellenistic original, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, inv. no. BS 214 © Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig

A huge spiral of vertical vinyl banners in various shades of red (from light red to the deepest crimson) guide visitors through the exhibition while simultaneously symbolizing the range and intensity of the emotions on display. The spiral joins the two main exhibits: the glorious light-bathed statues of Eros and Pothos and, opposite them, the dimly-lit wall painting depicting the sacrifice of Iphigenia, its dark niche accentuating the powerful emotions of guilt, despair and anticipation. The remaining 126 exhibits are displayed between the red spiral and a grey backdrop, whose colour serves to balance the intensity of the red, and which corresponds symbolically to the rational side of the soul. 

The exhibition is divided into five main sections: The first is entitled "The Art of Emotions—Emotions in Art". The second section, "The Spaces of Emotions" is divided into five sub-sections: "Private space", "The Battlefield", "Public space", "Sacred spaces" and "The place of Death". The remaining three sections are as follows: "Conflicting Emotions", "Uncontrolled Emotions" and "Medea". The exhibition also includes 11 videos which accompany exhibits and use text and images to narrate the complex, dramatic myths depicted on the pottery and help fill in the background for visitors.


Statue of Smiling Kouros with Dedication to Apollo, ca 500 BC, Parian marble, Height: 96 cm; Width: 37 cm; Depth: 20 cm Athens, National Archaeological Museum, 20 © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports - Archaeological Receipts Fund.


Statue of a Koré, 520–510 BC, Marble © Acropolis Museum, Athens, Αcr. 670


Statue of a Boy with a Goose, 3rd century BC, Marble, National Archaeological Museum, Athens, 2772 © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports–Archaeological Receipts Fund


Statue of Eros stringing his bow, 2nd century AD, Rome, from the Palatine Hill, Marble, Height: 122 cm; Width: 85 cm; Depth: 57 cm © Louvre Museum, MA 448 (MR 139) © RMN–Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY


Funerary Stele with Scene of Greeting, Early 3rd century BC, Marble, Archaeological Museum of Thera, 321 © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports–Archaeological Receipts Fund, Photography Kostas Xenikakis


Inscribed votive relief with ears, 2nd century AD, Marble © Thessaloniki, Sarapeion Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum


Funerary Stele for a Lovable Pig, Victim of a Traffic Accident​, 2nd–3rd century AD, Marble © Ephorate of Antiquities of Pella, ΑΚΑ 1674


Amphora with scene of Achilles and Ajax playing a board game, ca. 540 BC, Vulci, Terracotta, Black-figure, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig © Basel, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig


Cup with Achilles Slaying Penthesileia, attributed to the Penthesileia Painter, ca. 470–460 BC, Terracotta, Red-figure, Staatlichen Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, Munich, NI 8705 © Staatlichen Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, Munich, photograph by Renate Kühling



Neck amphora with Menelaos and Helen, attributed to the Kleophon Painter, ca. 430–420 BC, Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, LU 57 © Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig


Dinos with the Symposium of the Gods, Attributed to the Dinos Painter, 420-410 BC, Terracotta, Red-figure, Archaeological Collection of Acharnes, MM 818 © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports–Archaeological Receipts Fund.


Tragic Mask, 4th century BC, Copper alloy, Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, ɀɅ4649 © Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports–Archaeological Receipts Fund


Entrance View of A World of εmotions 


Maria Callas as Medea, Installation View of A World of εmotions 



Installation View of A World of εmotions 


Installation View of A World of εmotions 


Installation View of A World of εmotions