Return of the Gods

The rediscovery of antiquity

Nothing is so typical for Renaissance art as the world of ancient gods and heroes. Italy is the classic soil of ancient culture. Finds of Roman statues turn into sensations, princes, clerics and patricians become collectors. The Renaissance is also making its way into the north. From there throngs of artists head towards Italy to perfect their skills there.


Art conveys complex thoughts as never before at a high intellectual level. Ancient figures are ideal for this. The more complicated the content of an artwork is, the more it is appreciated. Such complex programmes give both artists and clients the opportunity to demonstrate their own education and competence. Erotic scenes warrant particular applause. They flatter the eye of the connoisseur. Painters often take classical themes on the occasion, to prove their skills with sophisticated nude studies.


Mars, Venus and Amor

Bartholomäus Spranger

The union of Mars and Venus is not only an example of mythical eroticism, but also of the ambivalence of human nature, which despite everything still finds harmonious unity.  more...

Venus, Bacchus and Ceres

Bartholomäus Spranger

The theme of the depiction is a saying by the Roman poet Terence: Sine Baccho et Cerere friget Venus Without Bacchus and Ceres, Venus freezes.  more...

Feast of the Gods

Frans Floris

The world of classical mythology is not an ideal world. There is at times fierce enmity among the gods. The immortals are many things, except one: they are not infallible.  more...

Alte Galerie, Schloss Eggenberg

Eggenberger Allee 90
8020 Graz, Österreich
T +43-316/8017-9560


Opening Hours

12 to 19 December 2021 only with guided tour by prior appointment

1 April to 30 October 2022
Tue-Sun, public holidays 10am-6pm 

1 November to 18 December 2022 only with guided tour by prior appointment

Opening Hours Library
Tues–Fri 10am–12pm and afternoons by appointment only


18th April 2022
6th June 2022
15th August 2022
1st November 2022 (

with guided tour

8th December 2022 (

with guided tour