One of the less well known of the cast gallery’s holdings is a collection of electrotypes* of Greek coins. Amongst this pretty little set, my favourites have to be the decadrachms of Syracuse: large silver coins of about 35mm diameter struck in the Sicilian city in the late 5th century BC. I don’t normally find coins all that pretty (despite being a numismatist!), but these are real miniature masterpieces.
Depicting just the torso and upper legs of a male figure seated on a rock, the Belvedere Torso is a remarkable fragment of classical sculpture. Although fractured, what remains is a powerful evocation of masculine physicality: the broad shoulders, the colossal chest with its rippling muscles, those mighty legs; the sheer mass of this body is breathtaking. It truly is a tour de force of ancient sculpture.
Over the last two years, the University of Cambridge Museums have been running a series entitled ‘My Museum Favourite’, in which members of staff blog about their favourite museum objects. This year, it’s Res Gerendae’s turn to invite students, staff and visitors to share their favourite objects from the Museum of Classical Archaeology, aka the Cast Gallery, with us.
Anyone interested in contributing should get in touch via the comments or firstname.lastname@example.org, but for now, the series starts off with Jennie Thornber, Education and Outreach Coordinator, telling us about her favourite cast, the Baby Boy with an Egyptian Goose. Continue reading “My Museum Favourite”