As part of their temporary closure at the Louvre in Paris, the Roman rooms are moving to the Louvre in Lens. This exhibition at the Louvre-Lens Museum offers a gigantic retrospective on Roman civilization, from its legendary foundation in 753 BC to the fall of the empire in 476 AD. It invites visitors to discover Roman art and civilization through the great subjects that shaped Rome and contributed to its greatness and fascination.
Masterpieces of Louvre Collection
The greatest masterpieces from the Roman collections of the Louvre Museum in Paris are presented on this occasion to tell the story of Rome, its empire and its art. Few museums outside Italy have a collection of antiquities that offers such a broad overview of Roman art as the Louvre.
Roman civilization expressed itself through all the arts of its time and spread on a very large scale, even to the present-day region of Hauts-de-France, which in ancient times was part of the province of Belgian Gaul. Its artistic models spread on a large scale and mixed with other traditions in many regions.
Roman life expressed through art
In its open society, art was expressed both through official and popular commissions as well as through popular manifestations. This artistic heterogeneity reflects the great social, cultural and geographical diversity of an empire that stretched from Western Europe to the Near East and whose history spans more than thirteen centuries.
From the work of the mind to that of the fields, from the entertainment of the theatre, the circus or the hunt to the pleasures of banqueting, bathing, grooming and love, Roman art represented everything, paying equal attention to the details of official or private, imperial or popular life.
Variety of techniques and themes
The exhibition mixes materials and techniques, alternating large-scale works with more modest objects. The entire exhibition is organized around major themes that do not ignore the chronology of this fascinating civilization.
The more than four hundred unique exhibits offer a fascinating view of the politics, urbanization, religious and artistic experience, as well as the social and geographical aspect of that rich Roman civilization, which is also inextricably linked to the ancient Greek world.
Syncretic culture of Rome
Roman culture presents very strong peculiarities. Rome developed its own political organization, visual culture, religious concept and original customs. This rich culture simultaneously fed on the many influences from the Mediterranean world and especially from the Greek ancient world, the ideal of the time.
The universal pretensions of the rulers soon multiplied as the city opened up to the many annexed provinces: the local elite acquired Roman citizenship, engaged in an imperial career and the wealthiest citizens from the provinces participated in the Senate. Several Roman emperors originated from these provinces in the second century AD.
This prestigious exhibition focuses on the contribution of Rome’s citizens to the city’s political system, as well as on the Senate, the magistracy, the imperial cult, architecture, literature, dramaturgy and philosophy, which all together left a great mark on the ancient city. Furthermore, extensive attention is paid to the military exploits and the religious cults in the Roman Empire.
In short, the exhibition offers the visitor a fascinating and penetrating insight into virtually all aspects of life in ancient Rome.
In addition, several panels and maps provide clear explanations in French, English and Dutch. The exhibition still runs until 25 July 2022.
All useful information on the website www.louvrelens.fr