The Return of the Gods
Neoclassical Sculpture
Tate Britain: Exhibition
28 January 8 June 2008
Return of the Gods installation shot Tate Britain

Installation view at Tate Britain, 2008

© Tate

The monumental Duveen Galleries are the perfect setting for the first exhibition to focus on the full range of British neo-classical sculpture. These extraordinary marble pieces were designed to astonish and captivate, as artists were given hitherto unknown licence to create highly charged nudes with vitality and sensuality.

Thomas Banks The Falling Giant

Thomas Banks
The Falling Giant 1786

Courtesy the Royal Academy of Arts, London

Canova The Three Graces installation shot The Return of the Gods exhibition Tate Britain

Installation view at Tate Britain, 2008

© Tate

From the exquisite grace of Canova’s The Three Graces to the dramatic vigour of Thomas Banks’s The Falling Titan, the human figure, transformed and idealised in white marble, was the essence of this sculpture. Observation of the body, realisation of soft flesh in permanent and beautiful stone led to the creation of these outstanding masterpieces of figurative sculpture, inspired by and transcending classical models from Ancient Rome and Greece.

Sketching materials are available to borrow in the gallery to give all visitors the opportunity to draw from the sculpture on display