YOUNG GIRL ON THE TOMB OF MARKOS BOTSARIS
Young Girl on the Tomb of Markos Botsaris, 1834
After the sculpture of Pierre – Jean David d’ Angers (1788 – 1856)
As soon as the ardent philhellene David d’Angers heard about the death of Markos Botsaris he created the sculpture and donated it to the Greek Government, to place on Botsaris’s tomb in the Park of the Heroes in Missolonghi. His inspiration for the figure of the little girl was a young gypsy child he met in a Parisian cemetery. The girl bending over the grave and spelling out the hero’s name symbolizes the young liberated Greece. Unfortunately, the work was vandalized in Missolonghi. After many setbacks it was eventually replaced and today is exhibited in the National Historical Museum in Athens. Greece’s national poet Costis Palamas wrote a wonderful poem about the statue.
Look, there’s the little girl on Botsaris’ tomb
Leaning over, light and airy, perfectly still
Clothed in her blithe nudity.
She writes upon your tomb, Botsaris,
With one word your hymn: Glory!
MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART
© ΤΗΕ THANASSIS AND MARINA MARTINOS COLLECTION
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