From afarTravelling Materials and Objects

Last days!

22 September 2021 – 4 July 2022

From afar

Travelling Materials and Objects

Petite Galerie

22 September 2021 – 4 July 2022


For its 6th season, the Petite Galerie offers a journey through time and around the world with the exhibition ‘From Afar: Travelling Materials and Objects’, beginning 22 September 2021.

The Petite Galerie complements in this way the cycle of exhibitions dedicated by the Louvre to discoveries and explorations of lands near and far: ‘ParisAthens: The Birth of Modern Greece, 1675–1919’ in September and ‘Pharaoh of the Two Lands: The African Story of the Kings of Napata’ in the spring.

Through materials and objects, this exhibition describes exchanges between distant worlds – exchanges often far more ancient than the explorations of the 16th century. From deepest antiquity, carnelian, lapis lazuli, ebony and ivory circulated along trade routes : these materials were even more precious because they came from afar.

Their fascination was enriched by the myths surrounding their origin. Not only stones, shells and plants travelled between continents; so did live animals, often for political ends. The populace as well as artists discovered ostriches, giraffes and elephants. Manmade objects followed the same routes and, beyond Europeans’ well-known yen for the exotic, this exhibition shows that these multiple round trips wove a more complex history: forms, techniques and themes intertwined to create new objects, reflecting all the complexity of our world as it could be perceived in Europe from the late Middle Ages on.


Special guest art: music

Every year, the Petite Galerie hosts an art that is not shown in the museum. This year, music makes the exhibition sing, with a programme at the Louvre Auditorium.

Organised by:

Philippe Malgouyres, curator at the Department of Decorative Arts, Musée du Louvre
Jean-Luc Martinez, honorary president of the Musée du Louvre

Project manager

Florence Dinet, Musée du Louvre

Petite Galerie website

See the exhibition website


The Louvre’s Petite Galerie has received the generous support of the Fondation PSA, the sponsorship of the Fonds Handicap & Société by Intégrance, a donation in memory of Anne Cox Chambers by Alex Taylor, the generosity of Krystyna Campbell-Pretty and the Campbell-Pretty family, as well as that of the Susan D. Diskin, Ph.D., Fund within the Louvre Endowment Fund.

In media partnership with Le Parisien, Télérama, Beaux Arts Magazine, Time Out and France Télévisions.
In partnership with Fnac.



Présentation de l'exposition : Venus d'ailleurs, matériaux et objets voyageurs

Video51 min

Exhibition Catalogue

  • Colporteur, statuette

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