The classical ‘HIS’ and ‘HERS’…

As part of our preparations for the Modern Classicisms launch on Friday 10 December, James Cahill and Michael Squire have installed a temporary exhibition in the Entrance Hall of the King’s Building. The two display cases are centred around the ‘His’ and the ‘Hers’ of classical visual traditions, and explore the afterlives of two particular ancient sculptures: one case is structured around responses to the Venus de Milo, the other around responses to the Belvedere Torso.

The themes of our two cases also chime with the classical resonances of the King’s Entrance itself, structured around two classical statues that frame the main staircase. On one side, a neoclassical statue of the fifth-century Athenian playwright, Sophocles (after the so-called ‘Lateran Sophocles’ in the Vatican Museums); on the other is a statue of Sappho, the sixth-century lyric poet from Lesbos.

The display cases also outline some of the aims and aspirations of the Modern Classicisms project, with some details about our forthcoming exhibition in spring 2018, and a bit of history about the Department of Classics at King’s.

Our display in the King’s Building will run until 1 May 2018: do come and take a look! As always, feel free to get in touch with your responses, by using the hashtag #modernclassicisms, or emailing us at!