The exhibition investigates what we know about the Greek poet and how his works inspired other artists from antiquity to the present
Achilles, Hector, Ulysses: these names continue to resonate in people’s minds today. From antiquity to the Renaissance, artists borrowed from Homer’s stories a multitude of fundamental subjects that have shaped the history of art. What is the reason for this uninterrupted success? This exhibition „Homer“ until July 22, 2019 in the Musée du LouvreLens sets out to explore how artists drew on Homer and the heroes of The Iliad and The Odyssey. It also provides an opportunity to examine numerous questions: Did Homer exist? Was he the sole author of these monumental works? Where and when did he live?
Through almost 250 works, dating from antiquity to the present day, the exhibition offers an unprecedented immersion in the riches of the Homeric world. It presents a selection of works as dense and varied as Homer’s influence, ranging from paintings and objects from ancient Greece, sculptures and casts, and tapestries to paintings by Rubens, Antoine Watteau, Gustave Moreau, André Derain, Marc Chagall and Cy Twombly.
After a prelude devoted to the gods of Olympus, visitors begin their visit by discovering the „prince of poets” and above all the mysteries that surround him.
They then move on in the company of the principal heroes of The Iliad and The Odyssey: archaeological objects and modern works evoke the way in which these seminal sagas, reconsidered, reinterpreted and updated so many times, have been captured in images over time.
The exhibition includes a detour by way of other poems from the Epic Cycle that were lost over the course of time and which contained narratives recounting the most famous scenes of the Trojan War, including the Trojan horse, the death of Achilles and the abduction of Helen.
These episodes reveal the full extent of the ancient epic literature and the miraculous nature of the conservation of Homer’s work.
The adventure ends with an exploration of the phenomena of „Homeromania” that has marked the science of archaeology and inspired works and behaviour, based on the extensive imitation of Homer that even extended to everyday life.
LouvreLens, „Homer“ until July 22, 2019
Source: Louvre Museum
(18.05.2019, USA: 05.18.2019)