Sunday, February 10, 2008

Greek Masterpieces from the Louvre

The current refurbishment of the Louvre’s Classical Greek and Hellenistic galleries affords an unexpected and unique opportunity to present a selection of Greek masterpieces at the National Museum of Singapore. Despites Louvre’s huge collection of over 45,000 Greek and Roman artefacts, it seldom loans more than a dozen items at a time from the department. The present exhibition is not only exceptional in this respect- with 130 works of Greek Arts on loan here- it is also the first time that many of the objects have left the Louvre since arriving there. Normally separated according to material, a division imposed by architectural constraints at the Louvre (stone sculptures are exhibited on the ground floor, while vases, bronzes and terracotta figurines are displayed on the first floor, where the floorboards can only support the weight of small objects), this exhibition is therefore a rare chance to view objects of different materials displayed thematically. Carefully selected, the artefacts combined to give an overview of Greek civilisation at its political and artistic height in the so-called classical period (5th to 4th centuries BCE).

The exhibition begins with an introduction to Athens and aims to conjure up, through portraits of famous men, depictions of foundation myths and works of arts associated with the Acropolis and the city’s burial-grounds to provide a sketch of the environment in which the Greeks lived.

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