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French Images from the Greek War of Independence, 1821-1830

Art and Politics Under the Restoration

Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmy

View Inside Price: $65.00

September 10, 1989
188 pages, 8 1/2 x 11
180 b/w + 4 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300045321

Out of Print

The Greek struggle against Ottoman rule was a crucial event in the history and politics of nineteenth-century Europe.  In particular it had a strong impact on the political and cultural life of France during the Bourbon Restoration, where it was appropriated and promoted as the symbolic spearhead of liberal ideas and of the growing Romantic rebellion.  This book by Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer examines the French paintings, prints, and sculptures inspired by the Greek War of Independence. 
Athanassoglou-Kallmyer reinterprets important works by the foremost exponents of the Romantic movement—including Delacroix, Gericault, Horace Vernet, Ary Scheffer, and David d’Angers—showing how they viewed the Greek struggle as a setting for the opposing forces of conservatism and liberalism.  She explains that, far from being mere pictorial records of specific war episodes such as the massacre at Chios or the fall of Missolonghi, images of the clashes between Greeks and Turks reflected the mottos and arguments of the French liberal propaganda echoed as well by contemporary newspapers, parliamentary debates, broadsides, pamphlets, popular plays, and poems.
The Greek War of Independence was the first contemporary political event to attract widespread artistic interest throughout Europe and to inspire the creation of major paintings.  This study of the familiar and unfamiliar images linked to this war thus makes a significant contribution to the history of nineteenth-century art. 

"Athanassoglou-Kallmyer provides a most interesting account of the very biased critical history of an important phase in French salon painting."—David Blayney Brown, Burlington Magazine

"It is good to find a book considering the relationship of art and politics in nineteenth-century France that moves back to an era anterior to the Second Empire and the July Monarchy. . . . The book is very well illustrated. . . . An elucidation—and a worthy one."—Dorathea K. Beard, Nineteenth-Century French Studies

"It can be confidently recommended as a fresh slant on one of the results of the French Revolution."—Doreen Strabolgi, Franco British Society News

"[The author] makes an important contribution to the literature on philhellenism with her excellent work. . . . The author is to be commended for reproducing in one volume a rich collection of philhellenic paintings, sketches, prints, and book illustrations scattered in the numerous libraries, museums, and art galleries of Greece, Cyprus, France, Holland, Belgium, and the United States. . . . The study of Athanassoglou-Kallmyer is also significant because it is the first work on philhellenism written from the perspective of an art historian. . . . This work will be of interest to the general reader and scholar alike, especially to those concerned with the interplay between artistic expression and its political context."—Theophilus C. Prousis, Modern Greek Studies Yearbook

"[This book is] a significant addition to art historical and historical literature of nineteenth-century Europe. . . . French Images is well-written, well-paced and illustrated with examples, quotes and a lot of visual material."—Annie-Christine Daskalakis, Hellenic Pilgrimage