• s 6.6.2024. - 1.9.2024.

Exhibition Ars amatoria - Love & erotica in ancient Rome

LOCATION: Mali Lošinj, gallery Fritzi
TIME: 06.06. - 01.09.

The title of the exhibition “Ars amatorial. Love and eroticism in ancient Rome” authored by Kornelija A. Giunio, Ph.D., introduces us to the provocative theme of the exhibition. The title itself is taken from the poetry collection Ars amatoria (The Art of Love), the most significant work of one of the most famous and widely read Roman writers, Publius Ovidius Naso, and was written around 2 or 1 BC. The work consists of three books. The first two books are intended as a seduction manual for men, and the third offers similar instructions for women. It is interesting that Ovid let women know that being beautiful is their inalienable right. And it is valid forever.

Through 22 panels, a catalogue and several exhibits, the author tells the story of love and eroticism in ancient Rome, trying to destigmatize ancient Rome as a place of debauchery and perversity, and to reveal the truth or at least part of the truth about love and sexuality in ancient Rome. The exhibition clarifies misconceptions in the use of the words eros, erotica, sex and sexuality or pornography. Concepts of homosexuality, engagement, marriage, divorce and prostitution are covered through the laws that regulate it. Through the exhibition, we learn that the Romans were superstitious and they always carried amulets with them, that erotic depictions and motifs were very common on fresco paintings and mosaics and that they have been best preserved, due to a combination of circumstances, in Pompeii and Herculaneum, and we also learn about many other interesting aspects of Roman culture which was much more liberal than most cultures today.

The exhibition offers a selection of objects from the holdings of the Archaeological Museum in Zadar and one object, a lamp with a disc from the Archaeological Collection of Osor.

The visiting exhibition “Ars amatorial. Love and eroticism in ancient Rome” of the Archaeological Museum in Zadar represents an inter-museum collaboration between two institutions. The exhibition aroused great public interest during its presentation throughout Croatia, so I believe that the Lošinj audience will also enjoy this intriguing topic.

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