Portrait imaginaire du poète Homère, 2e siècle après J.-C.
© Musée du Louvre, dist. RMN-GP / T. Ollivier
With the generous support of the Fondation Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe.
The Louvre-Lens is holding one of the most ambitious exhibitions ever dedicated to Homer: a key figure of ancient Greek culture who laid the foundations for Western culture. His works and their heroes—Achilles, Hector, and Ulysses, to name but a few—remain prominent to this day.
From antiquity to the Renaissance, artists have looked to Homer’s texts for inspiration for many of the key subjects that have shaped art history. But what ensured such everlasting success? The exhibition will investigate all things Homer, from the poet himself to the heroes of the Iliad and the Odyssey. The mystery will be unraveled: Did he ever exist? Did he write the epic poems alone? Where and when did he live?
The continued success of his poems as sources of inspiration without doubt lies in the fact that Homer became a phenomenon. The exhibition will explore the implications of this “homeromania” and analyze the various ways in which it influenced language, literature, science, art, moral beliefs, and ways of life. In a display of some 300 artworks (from archaeological finds to modern creations), it will bring the stories and heroes of the Iliad and the Odyssey to life, analyzing the visual representations of these fundamental epic poems that have time and time again been reimagined, interpreted, and modernized, and still fascinate us to this day.
Alexandre Farnoux, École Française d’Athènes; Alain Jaubert, author; Luc Piralla, Louvre-Lens; Vincent Pomarède, Musée du Louvre; assisted by Alexandre Estaquet-Legrand.
From March 27 to July 22, 2019
Musée du Louvre-Lens