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Antiquarianism and Philhellenism: The Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection



Antiquarianism and Philhellenism: The Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection

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14 May–20 June 2021

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The overwhelming majority of pieces displayed are from the Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection, a unique treasure trove of philhellenic masterpieces, which is presented to the public for the first time. These are European, philhellenic artistic creations, as well as works by Greek artists inspired by subjects of antiquity, in dialogue with authentic antiquities from major museums in Italy and Greece, such as the Capitoline Museums of Rome, the National Archaeological Museum of Venice, the Ostia Archaeological Museum, the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, Ancient Eleutherna and Rethymno Archaeological Museum.

The exhibition “Antiquarianism and Philhellenism: The Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection” is part of the “Dialogues” which the Museum of Cycladic Art has established in recent years. These are conversations between artworks that bridge different periods, revealing influences of the past in the present. Aim of the organisers is not merely to mount a historical or anniversary exhibition, or to approach the period through the military events, but to enhance two major currents, of antiquarianism and philhellenism, the one generative cause and the other fertile consequence, which aided the 1821 War of Independence and the founding of the Greek state.

The exhibition focuses on the antiquarian aspects of the philhellenic movement, before, during and after the revolution. Antiquarianism was the most enduring link between Europeans and Greece. In the course of the revolution it was transformed into philhellenism and was imprinted visually in European artworks, while after the creation of the Greek state it was adopted by Greek neoclassical artists in their endeavour to show the unbroken continuity of the ancient Hellenic heritage.

The exhibition includes 60 works from the Martinos Collection – oil paintings, sculptures, and diverse art objects such as figureheads, clocks, decorative porcelain, furniture, jewellery, urns, a wallpaper panorama, an embroidery, and a fan. Also displayed are five antiquities and one cast of a Roman antiquity.

(Edited description from organiser’s website)

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Everyday heroes, 2020–2021

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