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Home>Exhibitions & Events>Exhibitions>Masks, Masquerades, and Mascarons

The exhibition presents approximately one hundred artworks showing the paradoxical function of the mask, an emblem of illusion that consists of "disguising and producing a double".

Masked men have existed in the West since ancient times. The mask hides the face in favor of its double, concealing one to reveal the other, in an act that gives shape to mystery. It belongs to the sacred and the profane, truth and vanity, reality and fiction. It horrifies and seduces, imitates and misleads.

Drawings, sculptures, paintings, and engravings demonstrate its religious role in Greek theater, its playful and rather diabolical force of expression in feasts, balls, and Italian comedies, its funereal presence on the deathbed, and its lasting and protective force on the tombstone. The duplicity of the mask in the world of allegory will also be explored, along with its presence in decoration through the mascaron which appears to be simply an avatar of Medusa's head cut off by Perseus and placed on Athena's shield to retain its astonishing power.

Organized by:

Françoise Viatte, Dominique Cordellier, Violaine Jeammet, Musée du Louvre

Practical information

From June 19 to September 22, 2014

Sully wing, 2nd floor, rooms 20-23

Opening hours
Every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Tuesday.
Night opening until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Included with the museum ticket: €12

Further information
+33 (0)1 40 20 53 17