An Athens exhibition looks unflinchingly at classical perceptions of love and lust
From The Guardian: Wednesday 9 December 2009 22.29 GMT
by Lauren Goodchild
A marble statuette of a sleeping Eros and a lion next to him on display at the Cycladic Art museum in Athens.
The ancient Greeks were never at a loss for words when it came to love and lust – and an exhibition that opened in Athens today laying bare the practice of sex in classical times through an unprecedented collection of eye-popping art partly explains why.
Eros, the god of love and the great loosener of limbs, was many things: irresistible, tender, beautiful, excruciating, maddening, merciless and bittersweet. There was no position, no touch, no predilection too outre to pay homage to him. From the affectionate embrace to group sex, love came in many forms.
“The Greeks were anything but prudes,” said Nicholaos Stampolidis, director of the Museum of Cycladic Art, where the show will run for six months. “Theirs was a society of great tolerance and lack of guilt.” Standing before a giant marble phallus that once graced the facade of an ancient Greek home, he added: “It had what I call balance.”
read the rest of the article Photograph: Yiorgos Karahalis/Reuters
Filed under: Museums