EXTENDED OPENING HOURS from 16/9

'Picasso and Antiquity. Line and Clay' attracted 20K visitors in the first two months

EXHIBITION ON VIEW

The exhibition Picasso and Antiquity. Line and Clay has attracted more than 20.000 visitors in only two months. The Museum of Cycladic Art’s emblematic exhibition, which was organized as part of a series of exhibitions entitled Divine Dialogues, won over both tourists and the Athenian public thanks to the unique, lively, and original dialogue between ceramics and drawings of the great Spanish artist and ancient artefacts.

The exhibition will last until 20 October.

EXTENDED OPENING HOURS {from 16 September }

Monday, Thursday, Friday 10:00-20:00,
Wednesday, Saturday 10:00-17:00,
Sunday 11:00-17:00 (closed on Tuesday). 

GUIDED TOURS

ENGLISH | every Wednesday, 12.30

Picasso’s compositions—ceramics and drawings created between the 1920s and 1960s—come from foreign foundations, museums, and collections, including Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA), Musée national Picasso – Paris, Musée Picasso Antibes, Museo Picasso Μálaga, Museum Berggruen (Berlin), and private collections. The antiquities come from 15 Greek and Cypriot museums and collections, namely the National Archaeological Museum, the Archaeological Museums of the Ancient Agora, Agios Nikolaos, Chania, Chora (Messenia), Delos, Eretria, Herakleion, Marathon, Paros, Patras, Thebes, the Cyprus Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, and the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection. They include sculptures, ceramics, and bronze artefacts dating from Prehistory (from c. 3200 BC) to the Late Roman period (to the mid-third century AD).

Among the most interesting pairs presented in this exhibition, which is organized with the support of the Musée National Picasso – Paris and the “Picasso Méditerranée” project, is the white clay Centaur with incised and slip-painted decoration, which Picasso created at Vallauris on 3 January 1953, conversing here with the unique tenth-century BC Proto-Geometric centaur figurine from Lefkandi in Euboea and a sixth-century BC Cypro-Archaic Centaur. Or Picasso’s Blind Minotaur Guided by a Little Girl by the Sea (Boisgeloup, 22 September 1934), paired with the slaying of the Minotaur by Theseus on a Late Classical Red Figure calyx krater (340–330 BC) from the National Archaeological Museum or the torso of a Minotaur statue, a Roman copy of an Early Classical prototype.

Unlike his unique paintings, the great twentieth-century artist’s drawings and ceramics are little known to the wider public. These are closely related to antiquity, inspired by the Creto-Mycenaean, Greek, and ancient Mediterranean civilizations in general. This exhibition reveals a world the artist carried within himself. It showcases antiquities that he might have seen in the ancient lands of the Mediterranean, but also in European museums, in the books he read, or during his encounters with Christian Zervos and Jean Cocteau.

Throughout his long and productive career, Picasso consulted a wide variety of sources, adapting and transforming them relentlessly. The Classical tradition provided the Spanish master with a vocabulary of endless possibilities to be manipulated and modified. Prominent among these sources was ancient Greece, for it created an enduring mythology as well as a fertile iconography. From the time he copied antique plaster casts in his youth, Picasso was seduced by many themes derived from Greek mythology, drawn by their amplification of the mundane or their persistent aspiration to highlight humanity’s conflicting impulses. The Minotaur, for example, this Dionysian creature, half-beast, half-human, symbolized the dark regions of the psyche, becoming a telling symbol of the irrational forces of war.

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