A Day at the Museum

Any visit to Athens should include taking in the National Museum, also known as the National Archaeological Museum. The grounds look a bit shabby and uncared for but, once inside, the amazing works of art housed here illustrate the richness and beauty that is/was ancient Greece.

For Jay, it was a flashback to his History of Western Art course, taken 50 years ago in college. Here, in real life, were many of the works he had studied and he tried desperately, now as then, to remember their significance in the development of Western civilization. Here was “Boy on a Horse” IMG_3149and one of Jay’s all-time favorite Greek gods, Zeus, the supreme dispenser of good and evil and the protector and ruler of humankind. IMG_3150Some art historians think this work depicts Poseidon with a trident in his hand but the prevailing view is that this is Zeus, throwing a lightning bolt. Jay likes that explanation best and likes to imagine this work as an accurate reproduction of himself. Dream on, Jay.

How Rodin’s “The Kiss” got included in the museum collection is unclear but it certainly is consistent with many of the other works. IMG_3153

How many of these works do you remember from classes long ago?

Finally, check out this beautiful piece depicting a couple gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes while draped together in the same piece of material. Wonderful. IMG_3158

This is just a brief example, of course, of the thousands of pieces in the museum collection. If you get a chance to visit, the National Museum is definitely a highlight of Athens.

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3 Responses to A Day at the Museum

  1. Kathleen says:

    What a priceless collection of work in this Museum. A couple comments.
    Jay, you have always reminded me of Zeus! 😁
    On Rodin’s sculpture being there, that is both a surprise and odd. I recently went to a wonderful and extensive Rodin exhibit at the Portland Art Museum.there I learned that many of Rodin’s sculptures had multiple copies made from the same mold, including “The Kiss”. He had a foundry in which a number of people worked to produce the bronze sculptures from Rodin’s original mold. (That is definitely not how the ancient Greeks created their sculptures!)


  2. jayandtanya says:

    Oh, Kathleen, you’re so kind. When ordering coffee at Starbucks, I often use the name “Zeus”, just for fun. But, in Germany, “Zeus” is pronounced like “Süß”, meaning “sweet or cute”. That always makes the baristas laugh. Good information on Rodin and his molds. I never knew that. That, of course, explains why I’ve seen “The Kiss” in different places.


  3. Share says:

    Lovely to see these beautiful creations! Wait a minute Jay, Harry thought Zeus was modeled after
    Him!!!! Hmmmmm!💖


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