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Megalographies of the 1821 Fighters



Megalographies of the 1821 Fighters

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The exhibition includes 20 engravings by Zacharias Arvanitis, representing an equal number of large scale portraits of key figures from the War of Independence in 1821. The term megalographia was used in 1844 by the then prime minister of Greece Ioannis Kolettis to describe the scale, and perhaps the moral grandeur, of the portrait of Georgios Karaiskakis, which he commissioned from the brothers Georgios and Philippos Margaritis. I attribute a similar semantic scope to the term in order to describe, not only the larger-than-life size, but mainly the ethos and stunning power of conveyed by the portraits of heroes of the War of Independence, engraved on composite wood, by Zacharias Arvanitis. A superb draughtsman, the artist, who is mainly a painter, devises an original supple, and dense engraving gesture capable of satisfying the aesthetic and expressive requirements of these distinctive works. The precision of drawing, the energetic shading, the judicious handling of black and white, all contribute to bringing out into sharp relief each face, suggesting their age, emphasising their character, implying their emotions. (Marina Lambraki-Plaka)

(Edited description from organiser’s website)

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