27 Sep 2023
15 Jan 2024



Fantasy animals hold a discreet but constant place in our contemporary imaginations, as evidenced by their presence in works as different as Harry Potter or Game of Thrones. Their hybrid nature and monstrous appearance provoke fascination and repulsion, but, unlike humanoid monsters, they are considered creatures that man can tame, even domesticate.


This exhibition questions the origins and functions of these ambiguous creatures, which are in turn images of the terror and attraction inspired by the divine, the transcendent and the unknown, or expressions of our hidden unconscious, embodiments of our anxieties or our nostalgia for the marvelous.

This exhibition will show the adventures and tribulations of iconic figures such as the sphinx, the dragon, the griffin, the unicorn, or the phoenix in a transcultural (and transmedia) approach, through works and objects of art, architecture, literature, music and cinema. The aim is to give a wide audience new keys to understanding mythical and legendary figures, whose origins are often ignored.

General information

Musée du Louvre-Lens
99 Rue Paul Bert, 62300 Lens


General Curator


Hélène Bouillon, Director of Conservation, Exhibitions and Publishing at Louvre-Lens


Associate curators


Jeanne-Thérèse Bontinck, in charge of research and exhibitions at Louvre-Lens


Caroline Tureck, in charge of research, documentation, and scientific programming at Louvre-Lens. Assisted by Yaël Pignol, research, exhibition, and documentation assistant at Louvre-Lens