Recently my sister attended an open day at Oxford, and so I took the opportunity to revisit the Ashmolean museum. There I discovered the statues, on tour before they returned to Germany. This was a fortunate chance encounter, as they hadn't returned to Munich by the time I visited the museum there. And so, on the right, you can see my favourite statue in the Defining Beauty exhibition, this painted cast of the statue of Athena from Aphaea. I couldn't get a photo of it at the time as it was in the exhibition, but I took the chance when I found them in Oxford While the painted casts weren't at the Munich Glyptothek when I visited it, the originals were, and these were well worth the trip to see. It was wonderful to see the original statues and to know how they would have originally looked, bright and full of colours. Hence why I found the Defining Beauty exhibition, as it made me think about classical sculpture in a whole new way. There were several statues in the Glyptothek that had been loaned for that exhibition. Oddly enough though, none of the statues from that exhibition (not even the Aphaea statues) were my favourites in the museum, an accolade reserved for this bronze head below, which was so detailed and beautiful, and so incredibly rare.
The museum itself was very spacious and well suited to its purpose, and it contained a great number of outstanding statues, for which we have Ludwig I of Bavaria to thank. Among these were the Barberini Faun (also at the Defining Beauty exhibition) that may have come from Hadrian's Mausoleum, a rather old bust of Homer, and a rather beautiful bust of Augustus. They also had an exhibition on the Roman forum, with a pair of wooden models - one showing its layout in the late republic, the other in the time of Augustus. There was also another museum over the road, the Staatliche Antikensammlungen, which was mostly comprised of Greek pottery and Etruscan artwork, but with a few Roman pieces, in particular a reticella glass cup which bore the words 'BIBE MULTIS ANNIS' ('drink for many years') around the rim. Both museums are well worth a visit, although unlike the Glyptothek, the Staatliche Antikensammlungen didn't have descriptions in English, mildly problematic as I don't speak German.
I thought that was the end of my Classical sightseeing in Munich, but it turns out I was wrong. The following day was a visit to the Munich Residenz, the royal palace in the city. The standout room of the palace was the antiquarium, designed by Ludwig I to house his collection of antique statues. There were busts and sculptures lining the walls, and the room itself was also beautiful, as an added bonus.