Classical Art in Cambridge

Following Hercules: the story of classical art
Fitzwilliam Museum and Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge
25th September–6 December 2015

Hercules is one of the best loved heroes from ancient Greece. Known in antiquity for completing twelve tasks or ‘labours’ that confirmed his status as a god, Hercules is today tasked with one more—to show visitors to the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge how sculptures made in the Mediterranean millennia ago came to define western art. Hercules inhabits each of the 40 objects on display, which range from exquisite miniatures and Renaissance prints and drawings to eighteenth-century paintings, Wedgwood cameos and a giant polystyrene statue. The result is an arresting visual experience of differing scales, styles and material, which gives ongoing meaning to the ‘classical’.

The story continues at the Museum of Classical Archaeology in Cambridge and there is a full programme of events across both museums. For more details, see:

A short booklet, Following Hercules: The Story of Classical Art (ISBN: 978-1-910731-02-4), accompanies the exhibition and can be purchased for £4.99 (+P&P). Please email

MOCA events are free and all are welcome. Please note, events marked with a * require tickets. All events take place at MOCA unless otherwise stated. Further details can be found at

*The Cutting Edge of Classical Art, Wednesday 7th October, 6-8pm (Fitzwilliam Museum, tickets £6)
*Art under Fire: Art Crime in Times of War and Peace, Tuesday 20th October, 6:30-8:30pm
Casts by Candlelight, Friday 23rd October, 6-9pm
Crash, Bang, Wallop! (Families), Saturday 24th October, 12-5pm
Ask an Expert: Ancient Literature, Saturday 24th October, 12-4pm
Off the Shelf: Treasures from the Classics Faculty Library, Saturday 24th October, 12-5pm
*Did Language Matter? Local versus Imperial Languages in Classical Antiquity, Saturday 24th October, 3-4pm
*Greek Democracy: Ancient and Modern, Saturday 24th October, 3-4pm (Law Faculty)
Following in the Footsteps of Hercules, Wednesday 28th October, 1-4pm
*Power and Influence: the Politics of a Classical Education, Thursday 29th October, 1:15-2pm
Hercules: The Thinking Person’s Superhero, Friday 30th October, 1.15-2pm (Fitwilliam Museum)
*Uprising!, Friday 30th October, 7-8:30pm
Hercules and the Aesthetics of Exhaustion, Wednesday 4th November, 1.15-2pm (Fitwilliam Museum)
*In the Thrall of the Antique: Plaster Casts and their Viewers, Thursday 12th November, 6:30-7:30pm
*Collecting the Antique, Wednesday 18th November, 6-8pm (Fitzwilliam Museum, tickets £6)
*Victorian Visions of Classical Greece and Rome: A Panel Discussion, Friday 20th November, 6:30-8pm


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