Notices to be placed before 4:00 PM
Classics research Colloquium: ‘Venus’, the Graces, and the Furies: the reception of classical themes and forms in Africa

DATE: Thursday, 6 June 2024
TIME: 14:15

VENUE: Committee Room, Classics Department, Room GO 12A, Ground Floor, MTB, Howard College Campus
SPEAKER:  Dr Samantha Masters (Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University)

TOPIC: ‘Venus’, the Graces, and the Furies: the reception of classical themes and forms in African contemporary art


Classical mythology is a well-known topic of classical reception, and artists from a number of African countries are still using classical myth as well as forms, and allusions of varying kinds in their contemporary artwork. But why does the Classical world keep cropping up and to what end? In most readings the intermingling of European culture/aesthetics and Africa in such art is disruptive and aims to ask important questions about the legitimacy of the western canon and its role in the subjugation and ‘othering’ of all who fall outside its parameters. Using the evocative paintings by the artist Roméo Mivekannin (Ivory Coast/France/Benin) ‘Hottentot Venus’ (2020) and Series Les Modeles de l’histoire de l’art, Orestes attaque par les Furies d’apres Bouguereau (2022) as two examples, in this paper I will explore questions and contributions made by contemporary artists from the African continent and their reception of classical antiquity.


For further information, please contact:

Dr Elke Steinmeyer

Classics Programme

University of KwaZulu-Natal

Durban 4041

South Africa

Tel: +27 31 260 1306 

Fax: +27 31 260 7286


Notice Details
Category Research
Posted 04 June 2024
By Elke Steinmeyer
Howard College Staff  PMB Staff 
Westville Staff   
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