From December 10, 2020 until April 5, 2021, the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens will host an exhibition titled “Antiquarianism and Philhellenism: The Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection” in the Stathatos Mansion. This rare and original exhibition will be curated by Art Historian Dr Fani Maria Tsigakou and Professor Nikolaos Chr. Stampolidis and will include important European artworks (oil paintings and sculptures) of the nineteenth century and Greek Neoclassicism in dialogue with ancient masterpieces.
The exhibits have been selected from the Thanassis and Marina Martinos Collection, a unique Philhellenic Collection of objets d’art and chefs d’oeuvre and will be exhibited to the public for the first time. These are European, philhellenic artistic creations, as well as works by Greek artists inspired by subjects from antiquity, which are presented alongside important antiquities from major museums in Italy and Greece.
The exhibition will enhance the antiquarian aspects of the philhellenic movement, which occurred before, during, and after the Revolution of 1821. Antiquarianism was the Europeans’ most enduring link with Greece. As the Revolution of 1821 progressed, it was transformed into philhellenism and was imprinted visually in European works of art. After the founding of the Greek State, philhellenism was adopted by Greek Neoclassical artists intent on demonstrating the unbroken continuity of the ancient Hellenic heritage.
In the exhibition, ancient masterpieces will be displayed next to their Neoclassical versions within a staged environment. Visitors will enjoy a theatrical experience as the Stathatos Mansion -an emblematic example of Greek Neoclassical architecture built in 1895 by the Saxon-Greek architect Ernst Ziller- is transformed into the interior of a nineteenth-century haute bourgeoise European residence.
The exhibition will be organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Sport, with sponsorship from the AEGEAS Non-Profit Civil Company for Cultural and Social Welfare.
Dr Fani Maria Tsigakou, Art Historian
Professor N. Chr. Stampolidis, Director of Museum of Cycladic Art
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