Greeks have always been beauty addicts. We gave the world “kouroi”; those eternal marble statues of idealised male youth that now live on in our museums, conveying the values and virtues of ancient Greece.
Time for another ancient Greek word: “kállos”. It essentially means beauty and is associated with both male and female sexes. Not just skin deep beauty. The concept of kállos in its ultimate dimension is an ideal that emerged in ancient Greek thought, and was expressed through the epic and lyrical poems of the 800-600 BC; then formulated gradually into the texts of the philosophers. They described it as a combination of the beauty of physical appearance with the virtues of the soul.
The Museum of Cycladic Art has seized upon this wider dimension of kállos in its new archaeological exhibition that spotlights the contribution of ancient Greece to the definition of the meaning of “beauty” through history.
On display will be 300 antiquities from Museums, Ephoraetes of Antiquities and Collections in Greece, Italy and the Vatican; cleaved into two major sections, Beautification and Beauty. The major exhibition is the latest in the Cycladic’s ground-breaking series focusing on Man in Antiquity.