I thought that by now I knew all the statues representing Alexander the Great, either those made in antiquity or those created at later dates by inspired artists. Well, not so.
When I recently visited the Louvre-Lens Museum in
Northern France, I was in for a
most exciting discovery: an Alexander
I did not know! He was placed strategically in the center of the large
exhibition hall appropriately called Galerie
du Temps which is in fact a unique journey through the history of time.
Only a select number of artifacts are on display here and they are rotated every
five years. To use the words of the Louvre-Lens:
All civilizations and working techniques will be represented along the
gallery, from the birth of writing around 3500 BC until the middle of the 19th
century, taking in the entire chronological and geographical scope of the
collections of the Louvre museum. The Galerie du Temps will be divided into 3
major periods: 70 artworks for Antiquity, 45 artworks for the Middle Ages and
90 artworks for the modern period.
There definitely is something here to everyone’s taste either in statues, or in reliefs, vases, statuettes, terracotta and faience, frescoes and paintings. But for me, Alexander is simply unbeatable!
According to the label, this bust dates from 130 AD and is presumably a copy from an original by nobody less than Lysippos, Alexander’s favorite sculptor. I gladly agree with this theory as Alexander’s face reminds me of the Azara Hermes (at the Louvre in
), also by Lysippos. Both works show Alexander at a mature age, his face worn
by the many years of campaigning and weathered by his thousands of miles-long
marches. Unfortunately, there is no information where this bust was found. It
may be one of those pieces from early collections when antiquities were taken
home as trophies. Paris
Whatever the case may be, this Alexander was absolutely worth the whole trip!