Elgin Marbles given new life in watercolor exhibition

One of the most important artifacts of the ancient world — the Elgin Marbles — has come to the USA in the form of a new watercolor exhibition in Boston.

Watercolor by Wendy Artis.

Watercolor by Wendy Artis.

The Elgin Marbles were acquired Lord Elgin when he served as ambassador to the Ottoman court of the Sultan in Istanbulin between 1801 and 1805. The sculptures were later bought by the British Parliament and given to the British Museum where they currently reside. However, Greece has repeatedly called for the artifacts to be returned to their country of origin.

Wendy Artin, a Rome-based artist, known for her detailed and academic depictions of the Italian city, figure paintings and still lives, captures the spirit of the Parthenon, a temple on the Athenian Acropolis from which the Elgin Marbles were taken. The energy of her brushstrokes are a reminder that this cultural treasure was once a part of a living tradition — that formed the basis of our civilization — and not just an artifact in a a museum.

There may be no substitute for the real thing, but for those unable to make it to Europe to see the original Parthenon or Elgin Marbles, Artin’s work is well worth seeing.

The Parthenon Friezes, an exhibit of works by Wendy Artin, runs through November 28 at Gurari Collections, Boston.