Two Eros of Smyrna: Masterpieces of Ancient Greece at Athens Archaeological Museum

Two Eros of Smyrna

“Two Little Eros from Smyrna”: Two masterpieces of the ancient Greek world are to be displayed at the National Archaeological Museum in Athens for the first time ever.

The occasion for the first exhibit of the Two Little Eros from Smyrna in autumn 2022 is the completion of a century since the Destruction of Hellenism in Asia Minor.

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Two Eros of Smyrna: Masterpieces of Ancient Greece at Athens Archaeological Museum

Two little marble Erotes have fallen asleep while seated with one leg resting on the ground. Their heads rest numbly on the bent knee, the palms of both hands serving as a pillow. They have round faces with chubby cheeks and long hair braided along the top of their heads. Their body and limbs are plump.

The pictorial type of sleeping Eros was especially popular in antiquity, as early as the Hellenistic period.
The two small marble statues of seated and sleeping Eros used to decorate the lid of a luxuriously gabled sarcophagus dated ca. 150 AD (2nd century AD) and thus from the times where the workshops of Docimio, an ancient site near Afyon Karahisar in today’s Turkey.

The kind of marble used and the decoration of the cornices led to an attribution of the sarcophagus to the workshop of Dokimeion in Asia Minor, a marble-working facility mainly known for the production but also the export of luxury sarcophagi, notes the National Archaeological Museum.

The two Eros was bought in August 1883 by the Archaeological Society at Athens from the antiquities shop of K. Polychronopoulos in Smyrna 1883.

Since the end of the 19th century, they have been kept in the warehouses of the National Archaeological Museum.

The two little Eros from Smyrna is presented, for the first time, in the museum (“Aithousa tou Bomos” / room 34), from Wednesday, October 12 to Monday, December 19, 2022.

On October 23, November 13 and 27 and December 18, Sunday, as well as October 26 and November 9 and 30, Wednesday, at 1 p.m., museum archaeologists welcome visitors to the exhibition area and talk to them about the Asia Minor sculpture workshops of antiquity, the symbolism of the Eros in the art of death, as well as the activity of Greek archaeologists in Asia Minor during the Greek Administration of Smyrna and the fate of the significant collections in the days of the Catastrophe.

The exhibition of the seated Eros is part of the actions of the so-called “Invisible Museum” of the National Archaeological Museum that displays selected rare and unknown antiquities from the warehouses of the Museum.

To attend the scheduled presentations, it is necessary to purchase a ticket and register at the time of attendance. First come, first served.
for more information, check the website: national archeological museum