Louvre 'Myths and Legends' comes to Korea
By Rachel Lee
A collection from the Louvre, one of the world’s grandest museums, titled “2012 Exposition du Musee du Louvre,” opened at the Hangaram Art Museum of Seoul Arts Center on Tuesday. It features about 110 selected works from the famed Paris museum under the theme “Myths and Legends.”
It is the second exhibition by the Louvre to be held in Korea, after the first in 2006 themed “Landscapes” had attracted some 600,000 people.
This year’s show has five parts divided by subject — the time of confusion and the birth of the Olympus; the Olympian gods; the love of gods; the heroes in Roman mythology; and the lasting stories of classical mythology. Each group presents its own paintings, ceramics, sculptures and artifacts.
All pieces displayed were specifically selected by three experts from the Louvre. The works on display features familiar Olympian gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hermes, Athena and Apollo.
One of the highlights is the marble “Cupid and Psyche” by Italian Antonio Canova (1757-1822) from the 18th century. The sculpture, considered one of his best works, beautifully depicts the undying love of a couple.
Another is “Daphnis and Chloe,” by distinguished French painter Francois Gerard (1770-1837), which portrays a girl sleeping peacefully with her head on a boy’s knees. The image comes from the pastoral and rhetorical tale of “Daphnis and Chloe” written in an elegant but affected style by Greek writer Longus in the 2nd century.
Also on display is “Pygmalion and Galatea” by French painter Anne-Louis Girodet (1767-1824), which tells of Pygmalion who falls in love with a sculpture he created. The work depicts a scene of the King staring at the sculpture. The painter was known as a pioneer of 18th century Romanticism.
Other pieces include “Dead Adonis” by Laurent de La Hyre (1606-1656) and Charles-Andre van Loo’s (1705-1765) painting “Saint George Hunting the Dragon.”
Big fans of Greek mythology-based movies will find artwork related to the recently released film “Wrath of the Titans,” the prequel of the “Clash of the Titans” series and “Troy,” starring Brad Pitt as the Greek hero Achilles.
The exhibition runs through Sept. 30. Admission is 12,000 won for adults, 10,000 won for high school and middle school students and 8,000 for elementary school students. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends and bank holidays. It is closed on the last Monday of each month. Docent-led tours are available in Korean whereas audio guides also include English. For more information, call (02) 325-1077 or visit www.louvre2012.co.kr.