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Literature

History Has a Face-Figures of 1821 in Othonian Greece by Benjamin Mary

ATHENS – Prominent and less well-known figures of the Greek Revolution along with a revealing insight into the National Assembly of 1843-1844 are included in the new collector’s edition from the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, titled History Has a Face – Figures of 1821 in Othonian Greece by the Belgian Diplomat Benjamin Mary.

The publication features 125 previously unknown and unpublished to date drawings with 320 unique portraits from the album of Benjamin Mary, the first Belgian Diplomat and painter in Greece.

This volume is a landmark in the portrayal of fighters, politicians, clergymen, and scholars as well as the ordinary people in the mid-19th century, as unknown to portraiture figures emerge, enriching the history of this period in Greece.

Mary’s astute eye captured the figures of both exceptional individuals and unknown people, producing remarkable portraits. His insightful angle functioned like a photographic camera during the National Assembly of 1843-1844, capturing separate stills of the delegates and the spectators. In many cases, he also prompted those portrayed to sign the artwork, preserving another historical testimony of great significance.

In this publication, the portraits, including Theodoros Kolokotronis, Lazaros Koundouriotis, Ioannis Makriyiannis, Nikitas Stamatelopoulos or Nikitaras, Constantinos Oikonomos ex Oikonomon, amongst others, are depicted in almost full size and in the order in which they appear in the original document. The volume is rounded out with informative details describing the document itself, the era and the diplomat-artist, the historical point of the National Assembly of 1843-1844, the ecclesiastical issues of the time, the presence of Cyprus in the album, and finally the biographical notes on the people portrayed, many of whom were identified after thorough research.

The academic editor – research coordinator is Charikleia G. Dimacopoulou for the volume which is 384 pages in Greek. The hardcover book is available online, published by AdVenture SA: www.adventuresa.gr. Price: 80€.

The research and texts are by Charikleia G. Dimacopoulou, Dimitra Koukiou, Leonora Navari, Yorgos Tzedopoulos, Iphigenia Vogiatzi, and Maria Yiouroukou.

The detailed index of the publication, edited by Mitsi Sk. Pikramenou, is available free of charge online: Sylvia Ioannou Foundation https://bit.ly/3qqZSNg and the National Historical Museum https://bit.ly/3irrBsv.

The English edition is also available, translated by Geoffrey Cox, and also priced at 80€, online www.adventuresa.gr and in bookstores.

In the USA, the publications are also available by Oak Knoll Press.

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