Monday, September 20, 2010

Opening of the new rooms devoted to Classical Greek and Hellenistic art | Louvre Museum

The museological approach

Housed in the southwest corner of the Cour Carrée (Sully wing), this ensemble comprises two galleries formerly part of the royal apartments and leading to the famous Caryatids Room, thus completing the chronological presentation of ancient Greek art.

The first gallery, to the north (Rooms 7–12) is part of the wing built for the Renaissance palace. This restructuring offers an authentic journey through the Greek world of the period from the Parthenon to the conquest of Greece by Rome. Each room brings together artifacts from a specific part of the Greek world in a range of materials and media, including vases, jewelry, sculpture and architecture. The visitor will discover art from Athens and central Greece, the Greek cities of southern Italy, Macedonia and northern Greece, Asia Minor and all of the Hellenistic Near East, and Greek Egypt and Cyrenaica (modern Libya). 

More recent and running parallel to the first, the second gallery, to the south (Rooms 13–16), was inaugurated in the early 19th century, with courtyards being transformed into the Musée des Antiques, whose contents included the Borghese Collection. Today's refurbishing presents Roman copies of vanished masterpieces of Classical Greek sculpture; it follows a thematic path dedicated to the gods and heroes of mythology and ending in the Venus de Milo room, with the famous statue returning to the place it occupied from 1824 to 1848. In the newly rediscovered niches of the original building the history of the statue's finding is shown, together with images of Aphrodite from the Hellenistic period.

The itinerary then continues through the remodeled Caryatids Room, where the replicas of Hellenistic Greek sculpture are on display. Highlighting some of the oldest rooms in the museum, this new project improves public access to works sometimes overshadowed by the fame of the Venus de Milo, while at the same time making the latter easier to find.


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