Visiting Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion? You must join the virtual exhibition queue when you arrive. If capacity has been reached for the day, the queue will close early.

Learn more
Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World

Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World

Picón, Carlos A. and Seán Hemingway
368 pages
485 illustrations
AAMC Awards for Excellence, Winner (2017)
View More Publication Info

The Hellenistic period—the nearly three centuries between the death of Alexander the Great, in 323 B.C., and the suicide of the Egyptian queen Kleopatra VII (the famous "Cleopatra"), in 30 B.C.—is one of the most complex and exciting epochs of ancient Greek art. The unprecedented geographic sweep of Alexander's conquests changed the face of the ancient world forever, forging diverse cultural connections and exposing Greek artists to a host of new influences and artistic styles. This beautifully illustrated volume examines the rich diversity of art forms that arose through the patronage of the royal courts of the Hellenistic kingdoms, placing special emphasis on Pergamon, capital of the Attalid dynasty, which ruled over large parts of Asia Minor. With its long history of German-led excavations, Pergamon provides a superb paradigm of a Hellenistic capital, appointed with important civic institutions—a great library, theater, gymnasium, temples, and healing center—that we recognize today as central features of modern urban life.

The military triumphs of Alexander and his successors led to the expansion of Greek culture out from the traditional Greek heartland to the Indus River Valley in the east and as far west as the Strait of Gibraltar. These newly established Hellenistic kingdoms concentrated wealth and power, resulting in an unparalleled burst of creativity in all the arts, from architecture and sculpture to seal engraving and glass production. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World brings together the insights of a team of internationally renowned scholars, who reveal how the art of Classical Greece was transformed during this period, melding with predominantly Eastern cultural traditions to yield new standards and conventions in taste and style.

Met Art in Publication

Terracotta Hadra hydria (water jar), Terracotta, Greek, Ptolemaic, Cretan
226–225 BCE
Terracotta statuette of a draped woman, Terracotta, Greek, Attic
3rd century BCE
Terracotta statuette of an emaciated woman, Terracotta, Greek, Asia Minor, Smyrna
1st century BCE
Glass alabastron (perfume bottle), Glass, Eastern Mediterranean or South Italian
late 4th–early 3rd century BCE
Terracotta transport amphora, Terracotta, Greek, Rhodian
late 3rd–mid-2nd century BCE
Terracotta wine amphora, Terracotta, Roman
ca. 100 BCE
Bronze statuette of a horse, Bronze, Greek
late 2nd–1st century BCE
Marble statue of an old woman, Marble, Pentelic, Roman
14–68 CE
Marble head of an old fisherman, Marble, Roman
1st–2rd century CE
Wall painting from Room H of the Villa of P. Fannius Synistor at Boscoreale, Fresco, Roman
ca. 50–40 BCE
Marble Statue Group of the Three Graces, Marble, Roman
2nd century CE
Bronze statuette of a youth dancing, Bronze, Greek
late 4th century BCE
Bronze statuette of a rider wearing an elephant skin, Bronze, Greek
3rd century BCE
Papyrus fragment with lines from Homer's Odyssey, Papyrus, Greek, Ptolemaic
ca. 285–250 BCE
Marble relief fragment with scenes from the Trojan War, Marble, Palombino, Roman
1st half of 1st century CE
Marble head of Epikouros, Marble, Pentelic, Roman
2nd century CE
Two terracotta roundels with theatrical masks, Terracotta, Greek
1st century BCE
Terracotta roundels in the form of theatrical masks, Terracotta, Greek
1st century BCE
Terracotta roundel with mask of Pan, Terracotta, Greek
1st century BCE
Terracotta statuette of the Diadoumenos (youth tying a fillet around his head), Terracotta, Greek
1st century BCE
Showing 20 of 39

You May Also Like


View Citations

Picón, Carlos A., Seán A. Hemingway, and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.), eds. 2016. Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.