Exhibition at the Galeries nationales du Grand-Palais, from 3 April to 22 July 2019
On 20 July 1969 two men walked on the Moon. At the time, this event was perhaps the first in history to have been followed all over the world, and was perceived as a technological feat as well as a symbolic gesture. It did, in any case, for a few hours, involve everyone in this individual adventure that engaged the humanity of all.
To celebrate this anniversary, we intend to offer a better understanding of the relationships men have had with this familiar celestial body.
This book fi rst looks at the path taken from imaginary voyage to real voyage, from Fritz Lang to Lucien de Samosate. It then shows how this distant body has become a divinity close to us, taking human form through the various representations of gods, goddesses and allegories of the Moon. It also presents the three faces of the Moon and its changing states: the first is benevolent - the Moon that protects and inspires, the second is the versatile, changing Moon, whose transformations set the rhythm for human life, the third is the Dark Star, the moon of melancholy and madness.
Beginning with Galileo (1564-1642) - who perfected and worked with the astronomical telescope, overturning the fundamental concepts of astronomy - increasingly more accurate instruments have enabled the Moon's surface to be explored. Engravings and photographs are presented in the catalogue: works of art with a symbolic power.
Finally, by evoking the Moon as a source of inspiration through a selection of works that make us ponder on this near and mysterious presence, and with an anthology of literary and poetic texts, the catalogue offers an invitation to reverie and contemplation.
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