Couperus and Antiquity

8 March until 8 September 2013

The Comedians, drawing by Elisa PesapaneThe Comedians, drawing by Elisa Pesapane
The Tour: A Story of Ancient Egypt, book from 1911The Tour: A Story of Ancient Egypt, book from 1911
Louis Couperus in 1917Louis Couperus in 1917

The famous writer Louis Couperus (1863-1923) wrote an impressive number of novels on classical antiquity, including The Comedians: a Story of Ancient Rome, The Mountain of Light, and Iskander. He lived in Rome and Florence for years, and felt himself to being, as he put it, 'a reincarnated Roman from the Imperial age'. The National Museum of Antiquities is exhibiting the finest editions of these novels, along with quotations from the books and objects dating from many centuries ago from its own collection. The overall result will provide a lively picture of Couperus’s fascination with, and profound knowledge of, the ancient world.

Ten Novels about Antiquity

In this exhibition, you will see the finest examples of the ten novels that Couperus wrote about Antiquity [NB the English title is given only in the case of novels that are available in English translation]

- Dionyzos, 1903
- The Mountain of Light, 1905
- The Tour: A Story of Ancient Egypt, 1911
- Antique Stories: About Gods and Emperors, of Poets and Hetaeras, 1911
- Herakles, 1913
- The Comedians, 1917
- The Donkey in Love, 1918
- The Ode, 1919
- Xerxes of de hoogmoed, 1919
- Iskander. De roman van Alexander den Groote, 1920

The artist Elisa Pesapane produced ten drawings inspired by these titles, especially for this exhibition

150th Anniversary of the birth of Louis Couperus

This exhibition has been organised to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Louis Couperus, an initiative of the Louis Couperus Society (website in Dutch). The writer was born on Mauritskade in The Hague on 10 June 1863.