Musée du Louvre in Paris is arguably the biggest and most popular museum in the world. It houses a permanent artwork collection, which includes works that trace back to the Neolithic times. However, in addition to what one gets to see when on a private Louvre Museum tour, it also hosts special exhibitions from time to time. Some of those exhibitions tend to run in the museum for a long period of time. Started earlier in 2018, “Archaeology Goes Graphic” will be on view at the museum through July 01, 2019.
Held at its Petite Galerie, the exhibit is aimed to spark a dialog between archaeology as well as comic book art. It explains how comic book, also known as ninth art in France, has drawn inspiration from archaeological finds to have contributed to the museum’s collections. It brings together artists such as Enki Bilal, Jul, and Nicolas de Crecy – who all have interests in photography.
The exhibit has on display over a hundred artworks, comprising original pages. Spread over many exhibit floors or rooms of Musée du Louvre, it is organized in four different thematic sections. Referring to its first section as “Artists and Archaeologists”, Musée du Louvre writes that, “The figure of the professional archaeologist emerges with the missions of the 19th Century. Drawings, statements, publications then become his tools. The archaeologist, like the cartoonist, uses the sketchbook to fix objects, sites or characters of studies. Comics, however, feature reporters, detectives or adventurers instead of our scholar.”
The exhibit’s second part is referred to as “Archaeological Treasures”. The museum says, “For the archaeologist, the word ‘treasure’ has a special meaning — goldsmith pieces buried intentionally to escape a natural disaster or conflict or, as in the ancient East and Egypt of the pharaohs, voluntary deposit of objects dedicated to a deity, especially for the foundation of a sanctuary. The comics like to stage the moments of these discoveries fortuitous or not, by showing his heroes in search of treasures or civilization disappeared.”
Its third part is titled “Classify to Understand”, and the fourth is further divided into a couple of parts – “Interpret and Dream”, as well as “When the Comics Imagine”.
The exhibit shows art’s role between reality as well as fiction, and its relation to archaeological findings, which are a part of its earliest collections.