An exhibition which highlights the concept of ‘kallos’, or beauty combined with virtues of the soul in ancient Greek, is opening at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens on Wednesday.
Exploring ancient Greece’s contribution to the definitions and the meaning of ‘kallos’ throughout history, the exhibition features 300 unique archaeological items from museums, ephorates of antiquities, and collections in Greece, Italy, and the Vatican. Most of these items will be shown outside of their permanent collections for the first time, it was noted in an official announcement.
The exhibition is structured in two major sections, Beautification and Beauty, which then include ten sub-sections that present specific aspects of beauty: Archaic and Classical beauty, beauty of divine entities and gods, the beauty of mortals, athletic beauty, heroic beauty, even demonic beauty and also cosmetic beautification, among others. The word ‘kallos’ in ancient Greek referred to both males and females.
“This is the first time that an exhibition is being held not for the notion of beauty, but for the concept of kallos,” pointed out at a press conference held on Monday professor Nikolaos Stambolidis, who curated the show before being appointed Acropolis Museum director. “Today, beauty only refers to the physical beauty of the face or the body, or both, while aspects of ‘kallos’ mentioned in the Homeric epics are seen very rarely in the modern Greek language,” he added.
Kallos runs through to January 16, 2022, and it is funded by L’Oreal Group.