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"Tanagra: Myth and Archaeology"
2003-09-19 until 2004-01-05
Tanagras are terracotta figurines that saw the day in
Greece c.340-300 BC, became extraordinarily popular all
around the Mediterranean and then died out c.200 BC. Assembling
240 figurines, this exhibition invites the visitor to
explore the many facets of the “Tanagra” myth set against
the context of its archaelogical reality. These statuettes, discovered by accident in the 19th century
during excavations in tombs at Tanagra (an ancient Boeotian
city), were soon much sought-after and gave rise to great rivality
between major museums and private collections.
most frequently represent gracious female figures draped in
close-fitting garments, a genre that was unknown in the 19th
century. As a result of the craze for these figurines, numerous
imitations were produced, but tanagras nevertheless remained
a legendary source of inspiration for several generations of artists.
For the first time the public will have a chance to see a representative
selection of these sculptures, ranging from the handmade
object to the veritable masterpiece, together with a modern
reinterpretation of their critical analysis.
Definition: The term “tanagras” encompasses all the figurines produced,
first in Athens at the end of the third quarter of the 4th century
BC, then immediately exported and imitated in Boeotia, particularly
at Tanagra, and in Greece and Greek Asia Minor throughout the
3rd century BC. Though the statuettes predominantly depicted
women, there were also figures of men and children. The term
“tanagras” has survived from the 19th century.
Sophoclean Woman draped in a Himation,
musée du Louvre, AGER, MNB