Ariadne Galleries

Biennale des Antiquaires 2010
September 15 - 22, 2010
Grand Palais, Paris
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Virtual Tour

ARIADNE GALLERIES DEBUTS RARE COLLECTION OF EARLY CHRISTIAN AND ISLAMIC OBJECTS AT XXVth BIENNALE DES ANTIQUAIRES, SEPTEMBER 15 – 22, 2010 NEW YORK, August 11, 2010--- Ariadne Galleries is proud and excited to be bringing a rare and beautiful collection of Early Christian and Islamic artworks to the Grand Palais as part of the 25th Biennale des Antiquaires this September. With galleries in New York, Paris and Munich, Ariadne represents over 35 years of experience as dealers in antiquities. "In all of my years collecting and dealing in ancient art, this is the first time that I have had a group of objects that speak so strongly to the transition from Classical art to the Christian aesthetics that characterize the culture of Medieval Europe," says Torkom Demirjian, president and founder of Ariadne Galleries. "Much to our surprise, this art does not originate in Western Europe, where it would have its strongest influence, but in the areas that we today call the Near East or Middle East. Areas that people do not normally associate with Christianity today." Case in point is a very important group of 5th – 6th century ecclesiastical architectural fragments from Asia Minor or Syria. These boldly carved decorations sport overtly Christian symbols such as Christograms, rams, and peacocks, images meant to invoke the presence of Christ and the Garden of Paradise. One admires the lacy, graphic qualities of the motifs that completely cover the available surface of the stone. It is easy to see how this two-dimensional approach to art would eventually evolve into the flat, attenuated figures that grace the great cathedrals of Europe. How many realize that the images of those Medieval saints actually owe their style to artists from Asia Minor, Egypt, and Syria? Demirjian states, "We believe that this exhibit is important and timely, especially considering the current religious and political situation in the Middle East. While the region is most strongly associated with Islam today, history shows that this was not always the case, and that there is a shared cultural connection with an area and a people who may seem very different from us." Along with the early Christian objects, Ariadne will be displaying works of art from ancient Greece, Rome, Southern Arabia and Western Islam. The Western Islamic pieces, three large, beautifully carved wooden wall panels and a lattice-like stucco relief, are of particular note for their quality and rarity. While the majority of Islamic works come from the familiar regions of the Near and Middle East, it is extremely rare to have surviving examples of Islamic Art with Spanish origins. Thus, this group further highlights the East-meets-West themes that promise to make Ariadne Galleries a booth not to be missed at the Biennale. Ariadne Galleries, Booth 31, Grand Palais, Biennale des Antiquaires, Sept. 15th – 22nd, 2010. For further press inquiries, please contact: info@ariadnegalleries.com