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05 April 2008

Island Art

The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens
Exhibits at the Museum of Cycladean Arts in Athens

When I told w0lfshade that I would be going to a museum, he asked if I had been to all the museums in Athens. I wrote back that I haven't.In fact it's not likely I'll see them all, since there are a lot of museums in Athens. What we went to see then was the Museum of Cycladic Art, a place I hadn't seen yet, but had wanted to visit for some time now. It's in Kolonaki, not far from the Metro station "Evangelismos".

The exhibition does not appear very big. I think this is mostly due to the design and lighting: The room is quite dark, with light rays falling only on the objects in the vitrines. The image of the sculptures carved out of white marble on the black background is quite nice. In fact there are a lot of items to be seen in there.

Another reason for the exhibition to feel small is the division into different exhibitions: There is some special exhibition in the basement (we only passed through this), then the fixed collection of Cycladean art in the first floor, and in the top floor is a collection of ancient Cypriot art.

Vase with bird painting in the Cyprus collection of the Museum of Cycladean Art in Athens

In fact, given my limited ability to digest things in museums, the exhibition was really big enough. I saw a lot of very beautiful stuff in there. Marble bowls, ceramic objects with an airy feel. The typical cycladean figurines in white marble (see the main pic). Some things that stood out: Glasses and glass phials from around the 1st or 2nd century AD (impressive how something made out of glass survived that long), Cypriot amulets with human figurines in the shape of a cross (long before anything christian), and then this strange bird, almost dragonlike on a Cypriot vase (see picture).

That one had me fascinated. It was saad who pointed out that it's likely an ibis. The ibis has had significant meaning to the ancient Egyptians, while Cyprus back then had a lot of trade with Egypt. That aside, the picture doesn't look Egyptian at all, and it's style is totally different (at least in my humble oppinion) to anything else in the museum. It looks almost as if it had a Chinese or Japanese influence.

Posted by betabug at 21:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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