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Ovid's epic poem, Metamorphosis has stirred European artists for centuries. This display brings together prints and drawings from the Barber's collection inspired by his writing.

More than 250 myths are woven together through themes of psychological and physical transformation, love, pursuit and punishment to create Metamorphoses (8AD), an epic poem by Ovid (43BC – 17AD), who was the leading poet in Rome under the reign of Augustus.

Stirring European artists for centuries, these ambitious themes have made the poem more widely illustrated than any other book from the ancient world, except the Bible.

Bringing together prints and drawings inspired by Ovid’s writing, this display draws on the Barber’s collection: from mid-16th-century Flemish etchings to an early-20th-century drawing by French artist André Derain, and a 1950s print by German Surrealist Max Ernst.

Prints & drawingsBooks & manuscriptsAncient & classical artBirmingham

Barber Institute of Fine Arts

University Of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B15 2TS

01214 147333


Opening times

Temporarily closed

The Barber’s galleries will be closed from Thursday 5 November following the latest Covid-19 lockdown restrictions affecting all galleries and museums in England.

Closed on Mondays, 1 Jan, Good Friday, 24 - 26 Dec 2020.

Please find our full reopening and safety information on our website.

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