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Antiquarianism and Philhellenism at the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens

The National Herald

Greeks Fighting among Ancient Ruins (1829) by Peter von Hess (1792-1871), Oil on canvas 33 x 27 cm, Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Cycladic Art)

ATHENS – The Museum of Cycladic Art, Vasilissis Sophias Avenue and 1 Irodotou Street in Athens, hosts the exhibition titled Antiquarianism and Philhellenism: The Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection, in the Stathatos Mansion, December 10, 2020-April 5, 2021. This rare and original exhibition is curated by art historian Dr. Fani Maria Tsigakou and Professor Nikolaos Chr. Stampolidis and includes important European artworks (oil paintings and sculptures) of the nineteenth century and Greek Neoclassicism in dialogue with ancient masterpieces.

The exhibits have been selected from the Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection, a unique Philhellenic Collection of objets d'art and chefs d'oeuvre and will be exhibited to the public for the first time. These are European, philhellenic artistic creations, as well as works by Greek artists inspired by subjects from antiquity, which are presented alongside important antiquities from major museums in Italy and Greece.

The National Herald

Greek Woman (1873) by Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier (1827-1905), Bronze, gilded, silvered and enameled, Height 75 cm, length 45 cm, diameter of base 21 cm, Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Cycladic Art)

The exhibition will enhance the antiquarian aspects of the philhellenic movement, which occurred before, during, and after the Revolution of 1821. Antiquarianism was the Europeans' most enduring link with Greece. As the Revolution of 1821 progressed, it was transformed into philhellenism and was imprinted visually in European works of art. After the founding of the Greek State, philhellenism was adopted by Greek Neoclassical artists intent on demonstrating the unbroken continuity of the ancient Hellenic heritage.

In the exhibition, ancient masterpieces will be displayed next to their Neoclassical versions within a staged environment. Visitors will enjoy a theatrical experience as the Stathatos Mansion - an emblematic example of Greek Neoclassical architecture built in 1895 by the Saxon-Greek architect Ernst Ziller - is transformed into the interior of a nineteenth-century haute bourgeoise European residence, designed by Chloe Obolensky and Andreas Georgiadis.

The National Herald

The Greek of 1821, (1855) by Georgios Phytalis (1830-1880), Marble, Height 72 cm, length 57 cm, width 38 cm, Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection. (Photo: Courtesy of the Museum of Cycladic Art)

The exhibition will be organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, with sponsorship from the AEGEAS Non-Profit Civil Company for Cultural and Social Welfare.

More information is available online: www.cycladic.gr.

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