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1821 Before and after



1821 Before and after

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“1821 Before and After” is one of the most important exhibitions ever organised by the Benaki Museum and the most extensive exhibition on modern Hellenism ever presented.

The more than 1,200 objects gathered in the exhibition and spread across the 1,218 pages of the accompanying catalogue showcase one hundred years of modern Greek history, between 1770 and 1870. This century begins with the moral and economic preparations for the liberation of the Greeks, reaches an apex with the 1821 Revolution and concludes with the first decades of the operation and development of the new Greek state. Through rare works of art and special testimonies from each era, the three parts of the exhibition and the corresponding chapters of the catalogue offer a fascinating journey of history and art, a journey that in each step reveals why this adventurous century remains so deeply engaging, even in the 21st century.

The monumental catalogue “1821 Before and After: Greeks and Greece, Revolution and State” is one of the most important publications on modern Greece in recent years.

Luxurious testimonies and artefacts of everyday life from the pre-revolutionary period, mementoes of war from the Revolution years, along with documents related to all forms of Greek administration, coexist with bourgeois and popular artworks from the first decades of the new state, combined with works of art from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries; altogether, they testify to the echoes and reception of the Greek War of Independence. Together with loans from the co-organiser banks, from organisations and from private collectors, the extensive collections amassed by Antonis Benakis for the Museum he founded and donated to the Greek state take pride of place. These works create a deeply meaningful assemblage that traces the enchanting story of modern Greeks and brings to the fore the reasons of their very existence, their perseverance and how far they have travelled: all the positive elements that have shaped modern Hellenism.

(Edited blurb from publisher’s website)

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The book has been published in Greek as well as in English.

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