Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Another “Alexander” to be added to the collection

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 120 m 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 Paris), 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.

Whatever the case may be, this Alexander was absolutely worth the whole trip!

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