The Greek Revolution and European Romanticism in Art

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Chau Chak Wing Museum

University Place

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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Join us in the Nelson Meers Auditorium, Chau Chak Wing Museum for a lecture by Professor Vrasidas Karalis.

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This lecture examines the various ways through which the 1821 Greek Revolution re-animated romanticism especially in France and Germany. Special emphasis is given on the French painter Eugene Delacroix and his famous paintings illustrating the central themes of catastrophe and horror that dominated European art during the early 19th century mixed with revolutionary hope and projects of liberation and emancipation. The lecture analyses the revolutionary, aesthetic and formal characteristics of Delacroix’s The Massacre of Chios (1824) and Greece dying in the Ruins of Missolongi (1826), two of the most emblematic paintings of the European romantic movement.

Delacroix not only disseminated the ideals of revolutionary sacrifice but also promoted a form of revolutionary aestheticism which in an indirect way prepared the stage for the great social revolutionary movements throughout nineteenth century Europe. Furthermore, it idealized the fighting Greeks through visual perceptions that led to the first form of orientalism. Through the investigation of these aspects of romantic art, the lecture argues for the wider European significance of the Greek Revolution, not simply as a political and social event but regime change in the practice of visual representation and interpretation of art.

This talk is presented in conjunction with the Sydney Greek Festival and will be streamed live via zoom, please register here for the online talk.

Vrasidas Karalis holds the Chair of Sir Nicholas Laurantos in Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney. He works in the area of Greek Cultural Studies since the Byzantine and Modern periods. He has published extensively with special emphasis on Byzantine historiography, Modern Greek political life, Greek Cinema, Balkan culture, European Union, Greek and European cinema.

Image caption: Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), Scène des massacres de Scio, 1824, 1824 Salon, Oil on canvas, 419 x 354 cm, musée du Louvre. © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Adrien Didierjean

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Chau Chak Wing Museum

University Place

Camperdown, NSW 2006

Australia

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