Launching July 12th, Colombia’s Museo Nacional will for the first time exhibit almost 100 original pieces of Greek ceramics with a show titled Dioses, mitos y religión de la antigua Grecia (Gods, myths & religion of ancient Greece). The temporary exhibition is curated by Louvre and comes to Colombia as part of the Museo Nacional’s 190th birthday.

The arrival of these rare antiquities builds on an important relationship be- tween the French and the Colombian museums which began in 2007 when the Louvre sent to Bogotá replica works for the educational show Sentir para Ver: Feel to see.

Organised in three parts: Pantheon, Religion of the City and Religion and the private sphere, the thematic show exhibits potteries such as terra cotta kraters, amphorae (ceramic vessels that contained olive oil as prizes for athletic competitions and cultural ceremonies) and other oil, wine or water carrying vases used in everyday transport, storage and events, such as weddings and funerals. The paintings decorating these ceramics reveal the religious world of the ancient Greeks and their relationship with to gods and nature.

The Greeks represented the natural and celestial worlds in immortal human forms. At the exhibition visitors will learn to identify various Greek gods and their fascinating mythological narratives through specific attributes and iconography; and also learn about life in ancient Greece through scenes depicted on pottery.

The show embodies the National Museum’s vision to showcase artifacts from great civilizations and their culturally-significant place in history. Visitors will get to see the painting techniques and large variety of ceramics that the ancient Greeks made more than 2,500 years ago. Although these objects of art may be ancient, they demonstrate the craftsmen’s remarkable understanding and techniques in depicting naturalistic human forms and real life through rendering emotions, volumes and three dimensions. These ceramics mark the birth of an artistic development that influences artists in later periods of art history, continuing well into the 19th century.

Museo Nacional – Carrera 7 No. 28-66

Until September 8th, 2013

Jessica Wong writes for: onechineseincolombia.com