Exhibition: Rhodes

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

©22e Éphorie des Antiquités, Rhodes / G.Kassiotis

©22e Éphorie des Antiquités, Rhodes / G.Kassiotis

The current exposition-dossier at the Musée du Louvre is on Rhodes, a Greek island that was an important trading hub between the East and West in Antiquity. This exhibition focuses on Rhodian archeology from the 14th to 6th centuries BCE (from the Bronze Age to the Archaic period). It is literally the first exhibition in the world to focus exclusively on Rhodes, so visiting it is ipso facto an historic event. 

One of the major themes is the exchange that took place in this hub of cultural mixing. And the objects on display are proof of this, with Egyptian, Greek and Eastern Mediterranean influences plainly visible.

© Musée du Louvre

© Musée du Louvre

The intimate space allows you to put your face in the artworks and examine them to decide for yourself if the claims of the curators are valid.

I particularly liked spending time with the pottery painted with various creatures, from bulls to harpies to dolphins to lions that I thought were pigs...

© RMN (Musée du Louvre) / Stéphane Maréchalle

© RMN (Musée du Louvre) / Stéphane
Maréchalle

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Hervé Lewandowski

My favorite object by far was a shell carved to look like a person with a cape. It was entirely unexpected and hilarious and wonderful. This shell-man looked quite upset.

© Copenhague, Musée national du Danemark

© Copenhague, Musée national du Danemark

Before visiting the exhibition, I had wandered through several Ancient Greece galleries, looking for one of my favorite objects in the Louvre: a double-headed divinity that looks like a preschooler glued it together. I was disappointed to see that it was not on display. But, while visiting the Rhodes exhibition, who should greet me in the last room but my dear friend!

All in all, this exhibition is concise, articulate and well worth a trip the next time you are in the Louvre.


Rhodes: A Greek Island and Gateway to the East at the Musée du Louvre (until February 10, 2015), Espace Richelieu

AddressPalais du Louvre 75001 Paris  ∣  MétroPalais-Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 or 7) ∣ Opening hoursWednesday to Monday from 9am to 6pm, open until 9:45pm on Wednesday and Friday