Aphrodite’s Empire

Love and Beauty in Antiquity
21.3. — 19.10.2014

Aphrodite, Venus, Ishtar, Hathor – the goddess of love and beauty has many names and faces.

The goddess of love, beauty and sexuality was known in all Mediterranean cultures. She went by many different names: the best-known were Aphrodite, Venus, Ishtar and Hathor.

The exhibition introduces Aphrodite and her sisters, and the women who worshipped them. Beautiful looks, love and family were just as desirable in Antiquity as they are today.

Aphrodite’s Empire shows the women of Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and Mesopotamia beautifying themselves, falling in love, marrying and having children. Finally they are sent to the hereafter, and eternal beauty, by their loved ones.

The exhibition displays about 300 objects from the collection of the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden) in Leiden. Most of them are from the period 1000–0 BCE.

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