Korres and "The Countless Aspects of Beauty"
There is a new temporary exhibition at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens named «The Countless Aspects of Beauty»
An inexhaustible source of inspiration and cause of deeply felt emotions, Beauty, is visually perceptible in the ancient works of art, constituting an ever changing picture across the history of human creation. The new temporary exhibition of the National Archaeological Museum «The countless aspects of Beauty» brings out the different versions of aesthetics within variegated social and cultural contexts from the Neolithic period up to late Antiquity, making the best of the exceptionally wide chronological spectrum covered by the collections of the National Archaeological Museum.
The temporary exhibition «The Countless Aspects of Beauty» was designed as part of the Museum's 150th anniversary and it unfolds in four parts: In «Eternal aesthetics» we see on display selected objects of everyday life that record the continuous alternations and different facets of aesthetics in human diachrony. «The beautiful and the desirable» attempts an essential approach to the aesthetic preferences of the ancient societies on the basis of what the ancient Greek myths reveal about beauty and the archaeological finds that relate to clothing, hairstyles and beautification. The third part titled «Focusing on the Body» illustrates the expression of beauty in the visual rendering of the human body from the Neolithic period to historic times. At the end, «The endless quest» aims at the aesthetic contemplation on the significance of the beautiful and its value for humans.
Among the age-old secrets of Aphrodite that are presented in the exhibition, the world of perfumes takes a special place. In collaboration with Korres and inspired from information recorded in the ancient sources, 3 perfumes were created specifically for the exhibition.
"Aphrodite emerges naked from the gleaming, white foam of the sea and where she steps colorful, fragrant wildflowers grow. Her therapists, the Hours, perfume her, and then weave her indestructible clothes. The myrrh/scent is called 'beauty' and is the same as Beauty itself. Her name is synonymous with love, magnetic attraction and eternal beauty."
KORRES was invited to create for the first time the aroma of prehistoric times; a task quite difficult as the sensory experience of antiquity has been based primarily on vision, perhaps arbitrarily in touch, but never so far in the sense of smell. In the present journey of experimental archaeology for the first time an attempt is made to decode the minimum information provided by the Linear B Writing Signs used for the keeping of accounting records at the palaces of the Mycenaean Period and especially with regard to the ingredients intended for the perfumer of the palace.
With this information, recipes appearing in Dioskouris' and Theophrastus' books, as well as subsequent studies focusing on the ancient method of making aromatic oils, KORRES' laboratory began to revive the scents of antiquity, remaining faithful to the methods of ancient perfumers .
A process quite time consuming and based solely on the above limited information, Korres' team hunted the plants, produced the oils and followed the procedures recorded in the ancient books to achieve a result that brought to life the scent of the time.
Three one-dimensional, primordial perfumes - RODO (rose) , KORIANDROS (coriander) and FASCOMILO (sage) - take their place among valuable archaeological finds and realize sensory contact with the past. First is Aphordite's Rose, a rose-based fragrance, the favorite flower and symbol of the Goddess.
The precious rose-based oil that the group revived according to the perfumery principles of antiquity, was what Sophia Zisimou (Korres' Head of Research & Development) undertook - in cooperation with perfumer Sofia Koroneos - to transform it from the oily to the cosmetic form so that it can be shared with the audience who, through smell, would come closer to the world of their ancestors.
The visitor of the National Archaeological Museum is invited to experience the countless aspects of the beautiful and transported to the prehistoric aromatic world through antiquity-related antiquities - such as Linear B writing, amphoras in which fragrant oils were stored, sculptures praising the body and beauty, little statues of Eros & Aphrodite being groomed - but also the real scent of the time.
The scent of antiquity is reborn from KORRES for the National Archaeological Museum.
The exhibition, throughout its duration, will encompass an array of experimental workshops. Scientists, artists and artisans from Greece and abroad, will offer their specialised knowledge to exemplify for the visitors experimental approaches regarding weaving techniques of the Neolithic period, garments of the Aegean world in the second millennium B.C., such as the Mycenaean costumes, the colourfulness of ancient sculptures and the depiction of the Beautiful through the ancient Greek music.
A must visit if you find yourself in Athens as you will get the chance to experience Aphrodite's Rose in person!
Opening hours (summer schedule until 31/10): Monday 13:00-20:00 Tuesday-Sunday 08:00-20:00 Address: National Archaeological Museum, 28th Octovriou (Patission) st. 44, Athens 10682 Tel:++213214 4856 / -4858 Fax: ++210 8213573 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Disclosure: All information and photos are from the museum's press release and website as well as aphroditerose.gr 's website that has a detailed