Ancient Art Council

Ancient Art Department

Ancient Art Council
Legion of Honor

100 34th Avenue, Lincoln Park
San Francisco, CA 94121

The Spinario—a seated youth plucking a thorn from his foot—survives in a famous bronze now in Rome’s Capitoline Museum as well as numerous other ancient versions in diverse media. A popular genre figure created in the Hellenistic period (third to first centuries BC), it gained popularity in the Middles Ages and captivated Renaissance and later artists with its naturalistic pose. Originally an image with pastoral associations, the type came to have multiple associations: with the medieval calendar, with Christ’s passion, and even with the Temple in Jerusalem. This lecture explores the curious (and largely overlooked) appeal that the theme held for the patrons and artisans of the Middle Ages and examines the ways that medieval people engaged with the culture of antiquity, a period seen not as a distant past but part of their own rich cultural heritage.

About Programs at the Ancient Art Council

Programs are varied and include such activities as lectures by noted archaeologists, museum curators, and ancient art historians; exclusive tours of the Museum’s permanent collection and special exhibitions; fund-raising events; and travel programs to ancient sites and other museums. Members also receive invitations from related organizations to attend lectures ad exhibition openings. Your annual membership dues and contributions will assist in furthering the Ancient Art collection at the Fine Arts Museums.



A Thorny Issue: The Reinvention of an Ancient Bronze in the Middles Ages

Florence Gould Theater, Legion of Honor

Kristen Collins

AAC members/free; General/suggested $5 donation


Explore the Ancient Art Council: Upcoming Events


The Saga of Queen Zenobia and the Oasis City of Palmyra


A New Look at Ancient Nubia: Magic and Mystery on the Nile


On the Road from Persepolis


Deciphering Demons: Underworld Figures in Egypt and Etruria

Thank you for helping us acquire our first Egyptian royal portrait—a carved limestone relief of Ptolemy I Soter

Ancient Art Council supports Antiquities at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.



Last Supper in Pompeii: From the Table to the Grave

This exhibition reveals how, before Mount Vesuvius blew up in AD 79 and rocked the Bay of Naples, people in Pompeii and nearby farms and villages were engaged in typical daily activities, many of which revolved around food and drink.

Dates TBD