« Kallos. The Ultimate Beauty »: An archaeological exhibition on the Greek concept of beauty

The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, continuing its series of ground-breaking archaeological exhibitions focusing on Man in Antiquity, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sports, is presenting the archaeological exhibition “KALLOS. The Ultimate Beauty”.

The exhibition will run from the 29th of September 2021 until the 16th of January 2022 and will take place with the generous support of L’Oréal.

The exhibition

Through 300 exceptional antiquities from Museums, Ephorates of Antiquities and Collections in Greece and abroad, various aspects of the notion of Kállos in everyday life and philosophical discourse in ancient Greece are presented. This particularly important and large-scale exhibition will occupy all the exhibition spaces of the Museum of Cycladic Art.

The ancient Greek word Kállos essentially means beauty and is associated with both the female and the male sex.

However, the concept of Kállos in its ultimate dimension is not a word signifying merely beauty. It is an ideal that was developed in ancient Greek thought, was expressed through the poems of the epic (8th century BC) and the lyric (7th – 6th century BC) poets, and from the fifth/fourth century BC onward was formulated gradually in the texts of philosophers. They describe it as a combination of the beauty of physical appearance with the virtues of the soul. The exhibition in the Museum of Cycladic Art refers to this dimension of Kállos, highlighting the contribution of ancient Greece to the definition of the meaning of “Beauty” through history.

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