The Exhibition of "Love, Luxury, Beauty in Classical Antiquity" is Opened


On September 25th, with the support of the Italian Embassy in China and the Cultural Center of the Italian Embassy in China, the opening ceremony of the "Love, Luxury, Beauty in Classical Antiquity" Exhibition, jointly organized by Art Exhibitions China, the National Library of China (National Museum of Classic Books), and Tianyu Culture Group, was held at the National Museum of Classic Books. On September 23rd, the exhibition was officially open to the public in the 7th and 8th exhibition halls of the museum.

The Opening Ceremony

Chen Ying, Secretary of the CPC Committee of the National Library of China (NLC) and Deputy Director of the NLC, Sun Xiaobing, Deputy Director of Art Exhibitions China, Massimo Ambrosetti, Italian Ambassador to China, and Federico Antonelli, Director and Cultural Counselor of the Cultural Center of the Italian Embassy in China, delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. Ginevra Oliva, Cultural Counselor of the Italian Embassy in China, Gaetano Di Gesu, Italian architect and the art director of this exhibition, Zhang Xiufu, the chairman of Tianyu Culture Group, and Qian Qian, the executive curator of this exhibition, were present at the event. Paolo Giulierini, Director of the Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy, congratulated the opening of the exhibition through video. The opening ceremony was presided over by Zhang Zhiqing, Executive Deputy Director of the NLC.

Chen Ying speaking at the opening ceremony

Sun Xiaobing speaking at the opening ceremony

Massimo Ambrosetti speaking at the opening ceremony

Federico Antonelli speaking at the opening ceremony

Paolo Giulierini sending his greetings through video

Guests unveiling the exhibition

Group photo of guests

Before being buried by the volcano, Pompeii and Herculaneum were cities nurtured by ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, with rapid economic development, prosperous life, and extremely high levels of artistic creation. In 79 A.D., the eruption of Mount Vesuvius almost instantly buried the entire city of Pompeii. Other towns near Pompeii, such as Herculaneum and Oplontis, were also destroyed. The ancient cities buried under volcanic ash have become an excellent clue for us to understand ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. The Naples National Archaeological Museum in Italy is one of the oldest and most influential archaeological museums in the world today, housing the most important cultural relics unearthed from the Pompeii site in the world.

The exhibition showcases 127 pieces of precious cultural relics from the Naples National Archaeological Museum, including sculpture, frescoes, ceramics, bronzes and glassware. One of the major exhibits is "Aphrodite Rising from the Sea", which depicts the brilliant appearance of the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology rising from the sea. The goddess wears a short robe of ancient Greek style, which is tightly attached to her, indicating that she has just surfaced. A thick robe covers her lower body. Her skin is white as snow, her face is peaceful, and her surfacing gesture graceful, which has influenced the ancient and modern art in the West. "Ganymede and the Eagle" is a marble sculpture of the young Trojan prince Ganymede, described by Homer as the most handsome mortal of his time. In this piece, the young Ganymede wears an ancient Greek Phrygian cap, with his drooping right arm holding a shepherd's cane and his left arm holding an eagle. The dog next to him is squatting and looking up at Ganymede. The "Relief Sculpture with Paris, Helen and Aphrodite" is exquisitely crafted, depicting the scene of the Judgment of Paris. In ancient Greek mythology, that was the trigger for the Trojan War. The double cylindrical-handle large-mouthed bottle with the design of drunken god of wine is decorated with figures related to Dionysus, the god of wine. Based on the realistic restoration of living scenarios, as well as the reproduction of scenes during volcanic eruptions, together with multimedia and other display techniques, the exhibition provides a close and immersive view, allowing the ancient city buried under volcanic ash for over a thousand years to return to the human world, presenting a special feast of precious ancient Greek and Roman cultural relics for Chinese audiences.

Aphrodite Rising from the Sea

Ganymede and the Eagle

Relief Sculpture with Paris, Helen and Aphrodite

Double cylindrical-handle large-mouthed bottle with the design of drunken god of wine

The exhibition is divided into five sections, "Dreaming Back to the Prosperous Era", "Love Mythology of the Ancient Greek and Roman Times", "Pleasant Life: The Love of the Ancient Romans for a Good Life", "The Concept of Beauty in Ancient Art", and "Mythological Reproduction", focusing on love, luxury, and beauty during the ancient Greek and Roman period, restoring the urban appearance and public life of Pompeii before being buried under volcanic ash, and allowing the audience to feel their love for a better life and explore the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.

The Exhibition Hall

The ancient Greek and Roman civilizations are deeply permeated into the beliefs, thinking and life of the Pompeii people, as well as their pursuit of love and beauty. The section of "Dreaming Back to the Prosperous Era" of this exhibition fully showcases the magnificent and exquisite artistic creation of the two ancient cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum by introducing their iconic buildings and rich art collections. The section of "Love Mythology of the Ancient Greek and Roman Times" presents the rich layers and profound connotations of love, the eternal theme of ancient Greek and Roman mythology, through vivid mythological images such as Aphrodite, Eros and Selene. The vitality displayed in the section of "Pleasant Life: The Love of the Ancient Romans for a Good Life" is represented by the image of Dionysus. By introducing the banquet, tableware, residential and garden decorations of the ancient Romans, the fun brought by food and wine is displayed, demonstrating the ancient Romans' love for a good life in the world and leading the audience to experience the beauty of daily life. "The Concept of Beauty in Ancient Art" centers around the concept of beauty in ancient Greece, and reflects their pursuit of physical and mental perfection by introducing female images, beauty tools, perfume, etc. The "Mythological Reproduction" section tells the archaeological excavations of two ancient cities and the reasons why countless archaeologists, artists, and literati are obsessed with them.

The exhibition will continue until December 17, 2023 (closed on Mondays, holidays to be notified). Audiences can send the keyword "purchase tickets" to the official WeChat account of the National Museum of Classical Books to obtain ticket information and purchase tickets for the exhibition.
 






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