Plato considered both art and athletics to be gifts from the gods, and the connection between art and sports in ancient Greece can be viewed as an aspect of its religious beliefs as well as its competitive spirit. Every fourth year for a thousand years, from 776 BC to AD 395, the pageantry of the Olympic festival attracted citizens from all over the Greek world. The Games at Olympia were held in honor of Zeus, and a visit to these competitions was also a pilgrimage.
Support for the exhibition is provided by Richard Beleson in memory of the 1972 Israeli Olympic Team.
Red-figure Kylix (detail). Greek, Athens, 440−430 bc. Painter of London E 777 Painter. Terracotta. Interior: Two athletes. Exterior: Athletes conversing. Gift of the Queen of Greece through Alma de Bretteville Spreckels. 1925.346.16