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Hidden Marvels of the Louvre Museum: Part 1 - Artifacts of Ancient Greece with Dr. Guillaume Durand

Hidden Marvels of the Louvre Museum: Part 1 - Artifacts of Ancient Greece with Dr. Guillaume Durand


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The iconic museum of Paris, the Louvre, is especially known for its master painters such as Da Vinci, Raphael, David, Delacroix, or Géricault, as well as some ancient sculptures like the Venus of Milo or the Victory of Samothrace. Apart from these masterpieces which attract millions of tourists every year, this maze-like museum conceals stunning marvels from Antiquity and the Medieval period in its less crowded wings and rooms.

In this five-part series, featuring stand-alone but complementary lectures, join archaeologist and art historian Guillaume Durand in the discovery of these hidden marvels. Each lecture will put into historical context the artistic culture(s) covered as well as the evolution of the collection since the opening of this 12th century palace as a public gallery in 1793. Participants will come away with a thoughtful and refined understanding of Ancient and Early Medieval art in Europe and around the Mediterranean with the eye of a connoisseur.

Part 1: Ancient Greece
The department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities is one of the oldest collections of the Louvre Museum. Envisioned in 1793, it finally opened in 1800 under the title of “Museum of Antiquities,” gathering in one space the artworks from the royal collection, added to the ones of the Cardinals Richelieu and Mazarin, prime ministers of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, and Napoleon Bonaparte. The numerous excavations led by French archaeologists enrich the collection with iconic masterpieces such as the Venus of Milo (1821) and the Victory of Samothrace (1864).

Moving beyond these masterpieces, this first lecture will allow us to cover the major Ancient Greek art styles and understand how this evolution fits into the broader history of Greece. Every art style, from the Geometric to the Hellenistic period, will be illustrated by sculptures (such as The Lady of Auxerre, the Actium Kouros, the Koré of Samos, the head of the Cavalier Rampin, the Borghese Ares, and the Capitoline Venus Pudica) and by vase paintings from the recently reopened Campana gallery (such as the Exekias vase and the Eurytios Krater).

Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand, Ph.D. has long-standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide and lecturer in this country for French citizens.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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