[ONLINE] Jamie Rumble Memorial Fund Lecture in Classical Art: ‘A Greek Lady from Persepolis: A statue of Penelope and her Roman sisters’

Wed 17 Mar, 2021

This is an online event organized and hosted by the Centre for Hellenic Studies at King’s College London. Please register for more details. If you have any questions please contact chs@kcl.ac.uk 

Professor Salvatore Settis, former director of the Getty Institute and the Scuola Normale Superiore presents ‘A Greek Lady from Persepolis: A statue of Penelope and her Roman sisters‘ at the annual Rumble Fund Lecture.

In 1936 a fifth century BC Greek original statue made in marble was found fragmented during American excavations at the Royal Palace of Persepolis. The statue was thought to come from an (unidentified) Greek city: initially, it was considered plunder from some Persian invasion or occupation; however, more recent research suggests it may have been a diplomatic gift to the Great King. The sculpture has correctly been identified as Penelope, and it compares closely with six Roman copies of the same subject (all of them found in Rome). The quandary, though, is that the Persepolis statue was buried when Alexander the Great burnt down the palace in 336 BC: so how is it possible that copies of it were made in Rome just a few centuries later? The intriguing biography of this Greek lady from Persepolis poses radical questions across the fields of art history, classics and archaeology: about original and copy, about Greek and Persian cultural interactions, about word and image, and not least about style and meaning.

The 2021 Rumble Fund Lecture, organized by CHS in collaboration with the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Institute of Classical Studies, and King’s Department of Classics, will again be owed to the generosity of the Jamie Rumble Memorial Fund.

The Jamie Rumble Memorial Fund was established by Sandra Rosignoli, a former student of Classical Archaeology and a long-standing friend of King’s in memory of a close personal friend. The fund has supported outreach and public engagement through student trips and the annual Rumble Fund Lecture, an open guest lecture which invites a leading academic in the field of ancient art history. This year’s lecture is presented by Professor Salvatore Settis who currently chairs the Scientific Council of the Musée du Louvre and co-curated the landmark exhibition on Serial/Portable Classic in Milan and Venice, working with the Fondazione Prada.

This is an open lecture, and all are warmly invited to attend. Although attendance is complimentary, places are limited, and pre-registration is essential.

Prof. Salvatore Settis has been Director of the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (1994–1999) and of the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa (1999–2010). He currently chairs the Scientific Council of the Musée du Louvre. Among his works in English are Giorgione’s Tempest: Interpreting the Hidden Subject (Cambridge, 1990), The Future of the ‘Classical’ (Oxford, 2006); The Classical Tradition (edited with A. Grafton and G. W. Most: Cambridge MA, 2010); and If Venice Dies (New York, 2016). In 2015 he co-curated the landmark exhibition on Serial/Portable Classic in Milan and Venice, working with the Fondazione Prada; he also co-edited the catalogue of the show (with A. Anguissola and D. Gasparotto: Milan, 2015).