Art: Alexander Takes Washington

At the National Gallery, an ancient hero in hiding

If our friends the Iranians are a mite edgy about the fact that Alexander the Great has been summoned to Washington, no one will blame them. The last time Mr. Great dropped in on Persia, he took it, and even now, 2,300 years later, his power is formidable. These days it resides in objects—cups, armor, coins, earrings as huge as civilizations—all aglow like ideas in the gray, composed rooms of Washington's National Gallery of Art. The exhibition of Macedonian and Hellenistic art—paid for in part...

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