French Images from the Greek War of Independence, 1821-1830 - Athanassoglou-Kallmy, Nina Maria - Yale University Press
Art and Architecture
Political Science

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

Art and Politics Under the Restoration

  • Nina Maria Athanassoglou-Kallmy
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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.