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Art Diary

Feminine Power: The Divine to the Demonic

13 May 2022

Spanning a period of more than 5000 years, the exhibition at the British Museum (19 May­–25 September) considers how beliefs in feminine power have been portrayed by different cultures throughout history. Organised around themes such as Nature, Passion and Desire, Evil, Justice and Defence, the exhibition shows ancient and medieval artefacts alongside contemporary works to illustrate how the female figure has often been considered one of ambiguity. Objects from the British Museum’s own collection are among the exhibition’s highlights, including the Aztec carved stone sculpture of the Cihuateteo (divine women) (c.1400–1521) which reveals how the Mexica both feared and celebrated feminine power. The exhibition also marks the first showing of the newly acquire sculpture of the Hindu goddess Kali by the Bengali artist Kaushik Ghosh. Find out more from the British Museum’s website. 

 Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary here 

Lilith (1994), Kiki Smith. Courtesy Pace Gallery

Kali Murti (2022), Kaushik Ghosh. Photo: © The Trustees of the British Museum

Queen of the Night (relief; c. 1750 BC). Photo: © The Trustees of the British Museum

Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses (1891), John William Waterhouse. Courtesy Gallery Oldham