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Excavating Greece: Classicism between Empire and Nation in Nineteenth-Century Europe
by Nina Athanassoglou-Kallmyer

Fig. 1: Puvis, Massilia

Fig. 1. Puvis de Chavannes, Massilia. Greek Colony, 1869. Marseille, Palais Longchamp.

Fig. 2: Puvis, Marseille

Fig. 2. Puvis de Chavannes, Marseille. Gateway to the Orient, 1869. Marseille, Palais Longchamp.
Puvis de Chavannes’s pendant murals Massilia, Greek Colony and Marseille, Gateway to the Orient, created in 1869 for the grand staircase of the Museum of Fine Arts, in Marseille, succinctly capture key European perceptions of the period about Greece, ancient and modern (figs. 1, 2). Massilia, Greek Colony, shows the civic ancestor to modern Marseille, the Greek colony of Massilia established in Gaul by the Phoceans, as a primitive Arcadia, its inhabitants portrayed under a dual identity, both as the original Greek founders of the port-city and as the forefathers of the French. Marseille, Gateway to the Orient presses the point further. The ancient Greeks’ traditional sea-faring role is now re-attributed to modern Frenchmen, whose ship sails into the harbor of Second Empire Marseille. The Greeks have disappeared, with the exception of a modern Greek Orthodox priest with long beard and characteristic black cassock and headdress, hunched among the exotic cargo, animate and inanimate, brought back home from France’s colonial empire. Roles have been reversed, identities have been switched: the French now rule the seas as the worthy heirs of the Greeks of yore; while the Greeks, once the mighty builders of civilizations, are shown as mere subject people, as alien and extrinsic to Europe as any of the colorful medley of Orientals on board. Hailed as the national, all-French painter of his day, Puvis conceived his mural as a flattering icon of France as a world power, the ruler of Oriental nations and a controlling force over the Mediterranean, described as a “lac français” by Napoleon III and as “a Gallic sea” by Puvis himself: “The city, seen from the sea, unravels in the horizon. Its ports open up to the ships that dash toward it. One of them, cut in half by the frame, forms the foreground. On the deck of the ship, [are] all the types representing the various races of the Levant. An Armenian, a Jew, a Greek, an Arab … seated or leaning against the railings, they contemplate the sea of the Gaules. It is Marseille, Gateway to the Orient.”1 The frescoes were completed in August 1869, only a few months before the official opening of the Suez canal (on November 17, 1869), a major French engineering and geopolitical breakthrough that sanctioned France’s maritime and imperialist pre-eminence in the competition with England. Marseille, re-built to rival Paris in magnificence, acquired a commanding position as the prime Mediterranean gateway to Europe’s oriental colonial possessions. To mark France’s international prestige, Puvis chose to allude to ancient Greece, especially to ancient Greece as a colonial power revived in modern France as a global imperial force. The two scenes suggest superimposed temporal strata, the classical past of the French city, its chronological remoteness suggested in its ghostly pictorial handling, and its modern reincarnation, vibrant with a sense of instantaneous movement and vivid color.
Puvis’s murals usher in the main theme of this article: the emergence, in the second half of the nineteenth-century, of a new strand of classicism engaged with the period’s European imperialist forays in the Mediterranean region. In the wake of Greek independence and the creation of an independent Greek nation-state in 1830, the discourse such forays engendered went beyond the abstract appropriations of Hellenism that had haunted the Western European imaginary for centuries.2 (“We are all Greeks. Our laws, our literature, our religion, our arts, have their root in Greece,” wrote Shelley, enflamed with philhellenic enthusiasm, in the preface to his play Hellas (1821).3 In this high era of European colonialism, we must regard allusions to Greece and Hellenism as concretely entwined with notions of imperial expansion (and the resistance to it). At stake was no less than the construction of national identities, both on the part of the foreign nations and of Greece itself,4 spurred by antithetical notions of nationalism—a “nationalism of power” for the former, as opposed to a “nationalism of survival” for the latter, to use the terms of the historian Dominique Borne.5 Within that volatile historical frame, I explore how visual images, in tandem with a politicized cultural discourse, articulated anew the foundational myth of classical origins as shaped by the concrete realities of colonial appropriation of the Mediterranean lands, especially the newly accessible Greek territories.6 They did so largely, as I show, through the means of archaeology, a soaring discipline at the time and one typically perceived as detached from contemporary and worldly preoccupations, thereby validating yet again Edward Said’s time-tested statement “that there is no discipline, no structure of knowledge, no institution or epistemology that can or has ever stood free of the various sociocultural, historical, and political formations that give epochs their peculiar individuality.”7
Fig. 3: Koellnberger, Bavarian Troops against Greek Insurgents

Fig. 3. Köllnberger, Bavarian Troops against Greek Insurgents, 1909. Watercolor copy from original by Hans Hanke. Athens, National Historical Museum.

Although freed from Ottoman rule since 1828, Greece in the nineteenth century was no longer the glamorous land of ancient times. Its territory diminished, its resources depleted by decades of war, its population transformed by centuries of Ottoman occupation, Greece was a cultural and political space of great ambiguity, “forever situated in the interstices between East and West,” in the words of the historian Stathis Gourgouris.8 Although in principle an independent nation, the fledgling state was in reality only a protectorate of the allied Powers—France, England, Prussia, and Russia—that had contributed to its liberation from Turkish rule. In 1832, the Powers appointed Greece’s first king, Otto von Wittelsbach, second son to King Ludwig I of Bavaria, a passionate lover of classical Greece. The young king arrived in Greece in 1833 accompanied by an extensive court and staff, including three Bavarian viceroys, a Bavarian army, and a host of Bavarian bureaucrats. Bavarian rule—which lasted for three decades—was no less than tyrannical, and it seemed that the Greeks had only exchanged one repressive regime for another. Greek nationalism soared. Libertarian uprisings proliferated in towns and countryside triggering bloody reprisals on the part of the Bavarian armed forces, as depicted by an eyewitness, the amateur artist Ludwig Köllnberger (?-1892), a lieutenant in King Otto’s guard who was stationed in Greece from 1833 to 1838 (fig. 3).9 The guillotine, a punitive instrument unknown to Greece till then, was introduced in 1834, courtesy of France, and first used for the public execution of a Greek chieftain, a revered veteran of the liberation wars. Such acts of brutality did little to endear foreign, especially Bavarian, presence to the Greeks.10 We read in the Greek newspaper Dimokritos of October 9, 1851:

One is filled with horror and indignation when one hears about the tortures and wounds which are being inflicted on honest and peace-loving citizens by government officers … one must be similar to a wild beast or a senseless stone in order not to be swayed by compassion, not to shed tears at such accounts by citizens monstrously tortured and repressed…11

In 1862, Otto finally abdicated under pressure from nationwide unrest and returned to Munich, only to be replaced a year later by another foreign king appointed by the Powers, a member of the Danish dynasty of Glücksburg, who ascended the Greek throne as King George I.

Foreign control of Greece’s territory went hand-in-hand with foreign-spurred efforts to disenfranchise its troublesome modern population. Reflecting the period’s perceptions of the rise and decline of civilizations, the common view regarding the modern Greeks was one of decline and degeneration from their famous ancestors. Travelers to Greece repeatedly pointed out the physical and cultural discrepancies that separated the modern Greeks—rough in looks, crude in manners, and uneducated—from the European ideal of the noble and handsome Hellene of whom, ever since Winckelmann, the Apollo of Belvedere stood as the exemplar.12 To listen to Edmond About, writer, art critic and a trained archaeologist who spent two years in Athens in 1882-83:

The beauty of the Greek race has so been touted and travelers to Greece so firmly expect to find the family of the Venus of Melos there, that when they arrive in Athens they think that someone has been pulling their leg. The Athenian women are neither beautiful nor well-proportioned…In town one only meets individuals with ugly faces and flat noses, flat feet and shapeless bodies.13

Writings in the field of physical anthropology (a newly emerged science that blended ethnology, biology, geology and paleontology) lent support to such perceptions. As the historian Athena Leoussi has shown, for example, the Scottish anatomist Robert Knox (1791-1862), an admirer of the Elgin marbles, used physical, racial, and historical observation in order to declare that any kinship between the original Greek race and the modern Greeks was unfounded. These ideas were widely disseminated through Knox’s major work, The Races of Man (first published in 1850, second edition in 1862), and also in the form of public lectures.14 Seeking evidence of such a decline in history, the Austrian historian Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer (1790-1861) in his book titled History of the Morea Peninsula during the Middle Ages (Geschichte der Halbinsel Morea während des Mittelalters, first volume published in 1830), argued that the original Greek race had gradually disappeared submerged by waves of Slavic and Albanian migrants from the North: “The race of the Hellenes has been wiped out in Europe. Physical beauty, intellectual brilliance, innate harmony and simplicity, art, competition, city, village, the splendor of column and temple —indeed, even the name has disappeared from the surface of the Greek continent… Not the slightest drop of undiluted Hellenic blood flows in the veins of the Christian population of present-day Greece.”15 Building on Fallmerayer, whose writings he knew, the notorious racial theorist Arthur de Gobineau (1816-82), French ambassador to Greece from 1864 to 1868, distinguished between the ancient Greeks and the modern Greeks, the products allegedly of a mixture of Slavic and Asiatic elements, whom he viewed as an impure and degenerate mongrel race that bore no resemblance to its ancestors. He concluded, much like Fallmerayer, that in Greece, “there was not a single man who could legitimately consider himself as issued from the population of ancient Greece.”16 Edward Said and Johannes Fabian have shown how conceits of racial degeneracy abounded in imperialist rhetoric serving as a means to justify aggressive acts of territorial possession and political oppression.17 Branding the modern Greeks as savage and racially alien thus automatically discounted Greek claims to the land and culture of ancient Greece.

Fig. 4: Von Hess, Arrival of King Otto in Athens

Fig. 4. Von Hess, Arrival of King Otto in Athens, 1839. Munich, Neue Pinakothek.
So if the modern Greeks were a new species unrelated to the ancients, where should one look for the heirs of that once glorious race? Knox had argued that the ancient Greeks had belonged to a Scandinavian-Saxon race of Aryan origin—white, blond, tall and vigorous—which had migrated and mixed with aboriginal Greek tribes sometime around the fourth millennium. These original Greeks had disappeared (or, as Knox put it, “were destined to cease at a given period”).18 Their modern progeny was now to be found among Europe’s northern races, in England, Prussia, Holland and the Scandinavian countries. The French being partly descendent from the Aryan Celts would also qualify for Greek heredity.19 “No nation under heaven so nearly resembles the ancient Greeks and Romans as we,” claimed the British.20 Matthew Arnold told Oxford students that “Aristotle and Plato, and Thucydides and Cicero…are most untruly called ancient writers; they are virtually our own countrymen and contemporaries.”21 Both Ludwig I and his son King Otto of Greece commissioned marble portrait busts wearing ancient tunics.22 It was a convenient belief with all too predictable corollaries. Stripped of its “illegitimate” population, voided, transformed into a “no man’s land,” Greece’s geophysical and cultural territory became open to re-appropriation by those posing as the genuine racial heirs and cultural champions of the original Hellenes, the French, British, and Germans of the day. Politics and culture collaborated in the making of a fabricated narrative, whose ultimate purpose was to divest Greece of its legacy in order to re-assign it to its protecting nations. In Arrival of King Otto in Athens, of 1839 (fig. 4), one of two pendant paintings recording the advent of the young Bavarian king to his new kingdom commissioned by Otto’s father Ludwig, the Munich-trained painter Peter von Hess (1792-1871), who accompanied Otto in Greece, gave iconic form to such beliefs. Otto, surrounded by members of his staff and of the diplomatic corps, occupies the center of the composition. On the left, rises the imposing Doric temple known as the Theseion. On the right is a view of the Athens Acropolis in the distance. Fair-haired, light-skinned, in elegant and all too classical contrapposto, Otto—a reader of Fallmerayer—unequivocally declares his ancient Hellenic lineage, reinforced by the presence of celebrated classical monuments. By contrast the cheering (and somewhat rambunctious) Greek crowd strikes an exotic and definitely un-classical note in physical type, costume, and demeanor.
In Hess’s painting, antiquity and its monuments frame the main scene confirming and sanctioning the Bavarian right to Hellenism. Archaeology, indeed, supplied the enabling metaphor for this and similar trans-cultural impersonations. Archaeology invited chronological and cultural analogies between present and past, modernity and antiquity, while also providing the metaphor for uncovering and retrieving a forgotten cultural self—in this case a collective European self believed to be, as we saw, solidly and unfailingly Hellenic. Archaeological investigation facilitated by imperialist action abroad thus came to be perceived as the natural prerogative, indeed the duty of civilized modern European nations.
Archaeology also constituted a field of deployment of concrete imperialist politics. Casting out the amateurish practices of antiquarians, nineteenth-century archaeology had evolved into a scientifically-based, government-sponsored and nationalistically-charged discipline carried out within the precincts of official institutions—“institutes,” “schools,” museums, and universities. National institutions, for instance, launched archaeological expeditions in remote lands that as a rule followed or preceded western political involvement. In Greece, the establishment of the Bavarian regime was accompanied by the foundation of foreign “archaeological schools” representing Greece’s protecting Powers. They included the Ecole Française d’Athènes, founded in 1846 (Edmond About’s above-mentioned stay in Athens was as a member of that School); the Athens branch of the Deutche Archäologische Institut, created in 1873; and the British School in Athens, established in 1879. Politics, as much as scholarship, determined the operational agenda of the “schools.”23 Instituted by an ordinance signed by King Louis-Philippe in 1846, the French School was openly declared as an “acte politique”24 entrusted with the mission, in the words of one of its first fellows, “to spread in Greece the influence of our flag,”25 and to “do good politics, French politics,” as Prime Minister Guizot admonished the French ambassador to Athens.26 The German School was the offshoot of the Berlin-based and government-sponsored German Imperial Institute, which already had a branch in Rome, and the British School counted on its board some of the mightiest names in the British Empire, including the Prince of Wales and Prime Minister Gladstone, himself a Homeric scholar.27

Foreign archaeologists literally partitioned Greek territory into archaeological “fiefs.” The French got Delphi and Delos; the Germans, Olympia; the British, part of Crete and Melos, among others.28 Fierce competition drove the excavating fervor of the schools, prompting war-like metaphors among their members, especially among French and German archaeologists in the aftermath of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. “We [French and German archaeologists in Athens] are engaged in a polite war, veiled under ways that avoid all appearance of a polemical conflict. War is amusing when one is the winner!” wrote Albert Dumont, director of the French School in 1877.29 In a letter to the German ministry, the archaeologist Ludwig Curtius, director of the Olympia excavation, compared the achievements of German archaeologists abroad with the successful advances of Prussian technology and the Prussian armed forces in the Orient:

The time is ripe. In the whole Orient, as far as educated men live, it is expected that Prussia will make good its new position of power in honorable and strong representation of the interests of art and science in the classical lands… Can one imagine what could be achieved if our available energies could be harnessed together in the right way: the steam power of the navy; the technical know-how of the General Staff, the expertise of archaeologists and architects.30

Not to be outdone, the British in turn declared that “ In truth, we are bound in honor to establish it [the British School]; for neither should England lag behind France and Germany and America, nor should we refuse to accept the generosity of the Greek government [which had offered them land on which to erect the school’s building].”31

Fig. 5: Anonymous, Arthur Evans Leads a Group of Tourists in Cnossos, Crete

Fig. 5. Anonymous, Arthur Evans Leads a Group of Tourists in Cnossos, Crete, ca. 1900. Photograph.
Tourism and photography became archaeology’s close allies in the imperialist project. Eased by the colonial framework in place, tourist travel to the Mediterranean grew and prospered, with tourists unwittingly re-enacting the superior roles of conquerors surveying newly acquired territory. Athens was a necessary stop of Thomas Cook’s low-budget tours as well as of the more sophisticated “Voyages scientifiques,” French cruises catering to an elite clientele that were usually led by well-known archaeologists.32 Then, as now, it was antiquities that constituted the main attraction for tourists high and low. In a photograph of 1900, tourists are guided through the palace of Minos in Cnossos, on the island of Crete, by Sir Arthur Evans himself, who had uncovered the site, seen straddling the ancient marbles with proprietary pride (fig. 5).33 In 1897, the archaeologist Gustave Larroumet, who led such a tour to Delos, referred to its multinational membership using, revealingly, a colonial metaphor: “We could have formed a complete colony, indeed a cosmopolitan one, considering that we also included a substantial number of Belgians, of Swiss and one Rumanian.”34
Fig. 6: Bonfils, The Temple of Athena Nike

Fig. 6. Bonfils, The Temple of Athena Nike, 1877. Photograph.
Archaeological colonialism found a ready ally in photography. The writer Gaston Deschamps described how “in Spring and in Autumn, the Cook agency pours out on the docks of Piraeus a substantial contingent of ruddy and admiring faces, of photographic cameras mercilessly focused on the Acropolis…”35 Photographs were both the work of tourist amateurs and also the commercialized products of an international trade carried by photographers stationed throughout the Mediterranean—in Istanbul, Cairo, Beirut and Athens—such as Félix Bonfils (1831-85) who had a studio in Beirut, and J. Pascal Sébah (1838-90) who was based in Istanbul.36 Tourists bought or made photographs as mementos and artists-tourists collected them as a source for the settings of their classicizing paintings. Bonfils’s view of the temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis of Athens (fig. 6), for example, was part of a vast photographic collection of Greco-Roman antiquities belonging to the British Academician Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema (1836-1912),37 who traveled in the Mediterranean and used them for the settings of his paintings with Greek subject matter.
Fig. 7: Leighton, The Acropolis in Athens with the Genoese Tower

Fig. 7. Leighton, The Acropolis in Athens with the Genoese Tower, 1867. Private collection.

Fig. 8: Konstantinou, View of Athens

Fig. 8. Konstantinou, View of Athens, ca. 1860. Photograph.
A medium that helped record and canonize the new imperial order, photography also awakened fantasies of imperialist possession.38 To do so it generally extracted ancient monuments and natural sites from their (decadent) human context. In the photographs, the venerable relics reign supreme extricated from (vilifying) modern realities, isolated, expurgated, or, to use Edward Said’s expression, “antiseptically quarantined from worldly affiliations.”39 Such visual “purification of the sacred monuments”40 effectively spurred fantasies of immersion and possession, and is also evident in the works of artists-tourists like Alma-Tadema and Frederick Leighton (1830-96), who traveled to Greece in 1867. In Leighton’s sketch of the Athens Acropolis, for example, the sacred hill and its monuments rise in solitary splendor over a barren landscape suffused with the warm glow of sunset (fig. 7). Leighton was careful to select a view from the south that obliterated modern structures encroaching on the hill, as opposed to northern views which revealed the densely built modern city below; witness this photograph of Athens by Dimitrios Konstantinou from around 1860 (fig. 8).41
Fig. 9: Leighton, View of Lindos, Rhodes

Fig. 9 Frederick Leighton, View of Lindos, Rhodes, 1867. Oil study. Sydney, Australia, Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Fig. 10: Leighton, Winding the Skein

Fig. 10. Leighton, Winding the Skein, 1878. Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales.
While on tour, Leighton also visited the islands of Rhodos and Chios, across from Asia Minor (fig . 9). The watercolor drawings he brought back show panoramic views of rough empty coasts and expanses of blue water under dazzling sun. The land seems uninhabited and wild, as if awaiting acculturation—yet another imperialist trope, according to Mary Louise Pratt.42 Acculturation did indeed materialize in the form of Victorian figures in Leighton’s Greek landscapes, now serving as settings for his classicizing genre scenes. In Winding the Skein (1878), for example, both mother and daughter on the terraced roof overlooking a quiet bay painted after the island of Rhodos are posed by Victorian models swathed in draperies enacting an everyday domestic activity whose familiarity creates a sense of unbroken continuity between the ancient land of the Greeks and modern England (fig. 10). A friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, a staunch proponent of British imperialism and superior British Aryanism (despite his own Semitic roots), Leighton subscribed to the period’s racialist views, including the popular theory about the Aryan and Greek lineage of the Anglo-Saxon race. Addressing the graduating class of 1883 at the Royal Academy, he stated: “In the art of the Periclean Age…we find a new ideal of balanced form, wholly Aryan and of which the only parallel I know is sometimes found in the women of another Aryan race—your own.”43
Fig. 11: Gerome, The Artist Sculpting Tanagra

Fig. 11. Gérome, The Artist Sculpting Tanagra, 1890. New York, Dahesh Museum.
That such substitutions were read as wishful colonizing dreams is made evident by the reception of Jean-Léon Gérôme’s The Artist Sculpting Tanagra, a painting that caused a sensation at the Salon of 1890.44 In the interior of his studio, the aging artist represents himself at work on his large sculpture, Tanagra, whose marble mass is juxtaposed against the naked French model (fig. 11). Excavated in the 1870s at the Greek necropolis of Tanagra, in Beotia, the diminutive painted clay statuettes, called “Tanagras,” were viewed as the epitome of ancient Greek grace and refinement embodied in ordinary femininity. The figurines became all the rage among middle-class collectors and museum curators, and were displayed to great acclaim at the 1878 Universal Exposition in Paris.45 Analogies with present-day French women were a favorite theme among critics. “Always elegant but never affected, always in motion but never in a hurry, the Tanagra lady is truly the Parisienne of antiquity,” the archaeologist Théodore Reinach wrote in 1899.46 Paris lived in classical Greece, and antiquity gained an afterlife in modern Paris.
The Tanagra excavations were conducted by the Greek archaeologist Panayotis Stamatakis who successfully defended the site against all sorts of incursions, including illegal gravediggers, shady art dealers, and all-too eager French and German colleagues. In the battle over control of their classical heritage, the modern Greeks fought tooth and nail to thwart what they viewed as usurping foreign interference. For the Greeks, reclaiming their classical heritage meant securing the dignity of that past for present affirmation and a smooth integration with the European West, while at the same time severing the undesirable association with an Orient perceived as racially and culturally inferior.47 Many deplored the fact that this heritage had been ruthlessly taken away from them, re-appropriated, even disfigured: “As for us, a historical race of people, what are we to do?” Spyridon Zambelios, a Greek scholar and pioneer folklorist lamented in 1852. “What should provide us with spiritual nourishment? … The past? Alas! We are allowing foreigners to represent it for us through the lens of their prejudices, and according to the directions of their own systems and interests.”48
Controlling and safeguarding that past heritage as embodied in its archaeological treasures became the new nation’s chief concern. In 1828, the very year Greece was liberated from Ottoman rule, the first Greek museum of archaeology was founded on the island of Aegina. One year later, a law was passed that prohibited the removal, sale, and export of antiquities excavated on Greek soil. The Greek Archaeological Service was created in 1837.49 Sponsored by the Bavarian regime, it was open to both Greek and foreign membership, thus becoming the locus of considerable tension.50 A towering presence on the Greek side was Alexander Rangaves (1809-92), a scholar of classical antiquity, an archeologist, and a diplomat who served as foreign minister under King Otto. His many publications on Greek antiquity and the ancient Greek language included, among others, a hefty two-volume repertory of ancient Greek inscriptions and art works entitled Antiquités helléniques (1842) and an illustrated Dictionary of Greek Archaeology (1888).51 Another key member was Kyriakos Pittakis (1798-1863), a committed nationalist who had fought in the War for Independence and a self-taught archaeologist.52 In 1837 Pittakis founded the Archaeological Journal (Archaiologiki Efimeris), Greece’s first scholarly publication entirely devoted to archaeology and recent archaeological discoveries. Within the precincts of the Archaeological Service, Pittakis waged a bitter war against his Bavarian colleague, the archaeologist Ludwig Ross, King Otto’s personal protégé and the appointed director of the excavation on the Athenian Acropolis. (Ross was responsible for the restoration of the temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis.) Pittakis did not rest until he had Ross resign from the Service in 1836, eventually replacing him as the director of the prestigious Acropolis site.53
But while eager to stake their claim on Hellenic antiquity as part of their rightful inheritance, modern Greeks refused to embrace the foreign-minted modern replay of the ancient past. Rather, and fully acknowledging their long and shifting historical heritage, they strove to reestablish the connection between the disputed classical past and the modern present. Reconstituting that link held the proof of the nation’s survival and un-ruptured continuity, historical, racial, and cultural, unaffected by time and history. Two disciplines were enlisted to accomplish this goal, according to the anthropologist Michael Herzfeld: ethnography and history.54 Ethnography studied Greece’s folkloric culture with the intent to prove, as Herzfeld writes, that “whatever was good in the vernacular culture was but a resurgence of antique values.”55 By substituting one typology of time for another, traditional (folkloric) versus modern, instead of past (ancient) versus present, anthropological discourse about Greece and Greek-ness redirected attention from ideas of rupture between the modern Greeks and their classical ancestors to issues of continuity as evident in the perceived similarities, detected by ethnographers, in language and customs.56 Historical writings, in turn, reconstructed a national narrative as a seamless diachronic whole encompassing all periods and cultures—from antiquity, to Byzantium, and, through the wars of independence, into the modern era.57 Archaeology and classics joined in the national effort. Applying similar integrating methods to classical philology and the study of literature, in his History of Modern Greek Literature (1877) Rangaves re-traced the persistence of Greek literary forms through the centuries. And Pittakis, writing for the Archaeological Journal, signaled linguistic analogies between ancient Greek and the modern Greek vernacular, in order, as he wrote, “ to provide proof that the present day inhabitants of Greece are the descendants of the ancient Greeks.”58
Fig. 12: Iatrithis, The Torture of the Cat

Fig. 12. Iatrithis, The Torture of the Cat, ca. 1851. From G. Pharmakithis, O Zographos Athanassios Iatrithis (1799-1866), Athens, 1960.
It is for that same Archaeological Journal that in 1837 Pittakis hired the Greek painter Athanassios Iatrithis as an illustrator.59 Neither very talented nor particularly prominent as an artist, Iatrithis’s persona and his modest oeuvre exemplify the nationalist discourse over cultural continuity, cast in visual terms. His use of an intriguing stylistic multilingualism, juggling, merging and re-combining styles at will—classical, medievalizing-Byzantine and folkloric—replicates the national effort to reclaim, comprehensively (and patriotically), all of Greece’s long and varied historical and cultural trajectory. Born in 1799 in the town of Karpenissi, near what was then the northern borders of Greece, Iatrithis was trained as a painter in Vienna and Paris. In Paris, in 1827-28, he also learned the technique of lithography. Returning to Greece in 1830, Iatrithis joined the opposition to the Bavarian regime. Few works remain of Iatrithis’s output, but even so they tell a revealing story. Drawings in pen and ink represent horrific scenes of torture and deportation enacted by Bavarian troops against Greeks, bearing testimony to the artist’s strong anti-Bavarian sentiments—the drawings were so explicit that they were kept away from public view and were only published in 1911. In one of these, entitled Deportation of Peasants (private collection, Athens), we see the Greek population of a village being forced into exile for having offered shelter to insurgents. In yet another, from the same collection, a Greek rebel is submitted to the excruciating “torture of the cat” (in which a wild cat, inserted in a cloth bag wrapped around the victim’s loins, tore at his genitals) as Bavarian soldiers and members of a Bavarian-trained Greek militia watch on (fig. 12). The drawings bear legends in Iatrithis’s hand, their bitter irony reminiscent of Goya. Under the cat torture scene we read: “Constitutional application of the law under the auspices of King Otto.”
Fig. 13: Iatrithis, Tombstone of a dead athlete from Dipylon Cemetery

Fig. 13. Iatrithis, Tombstone of a dead athlete from Dipylon Cemetery, ca. 1840. Lithograph. From G. Pharmakithis, O Zographos Athanassios Iatrithis (1799-1866), Athens, 1960
Iatrithis was no newcomer to archaeology. Since 1832, he had held the post of Keeper of Antiquities at the museum at Aegina. There he persistently fought against foreign looting of antique marbles, an endeavor that sometimes brought him into conflict with powerful figures, such as the British Vice-Consul Edward Dawkins whose attempts to remove an ancient sculpture from Aegina, Iatrithis successfully thwarted.60 In his lithographic illustrations for the Archaeological Journal, (1,100 in all until 1844 when the journal folded for lack of funding), Iatrithis appears as a proficient academically-trained draughtsman, well-versed in the illusionistic rendering of volume, depth, and chiaroscuro. A lithograph of a sculpted Harpy shows an expert handling of swelling, baroque-like forms that stand out resiliently. The plate of a fourth-century funerary stele of a dead athlete found in 1840 in the Dipylon cemetery61 conveys with accuracy the high-relief effect of the carving as well as the anatomical detail of the male nude and the weight of the draperies (fig. 13).
Fig. 14: Iatrithis, Romanos the King

Fig. 14. Iatrithis, Romanos the King (“Romanos Vassilevs”). Lithograph. From A. Iatrithis, Syllogi thimotikon asmaton palaion kai neon, Athens, 1859.

Fig. 15: Iatrithis, G. Karaiskakis mortally wounded in Phaliron on 22 April 1827

Fig. 15. Iatrithis, G. Karaiskakis mortally wounded in Phaliron on 22 April 1827. Lithograph. From A. Iatrithis, Syllogi thimotikon asmaton palaion kai neon, Athens, 1859.

Fig. 16: Lytras, New Year’s Carols (Ta kalanda)

Fig. 16. Nikiphoros Lytras, New Year’s Carols (Ta kalanda), 1870s. Oil on canvas. Athens, National Picture Gallery.

Fig. 17: Gyzis, The Secret School (To kryfo scholio)

Fig. 17. Nikolaos Gyzis, The Secret School (To kryfo scholio), 1885. Oil on canvas. Athens, National Picture Gallery.
An amateur folklorist in his spare time who roamed Greece recording popular songs, proverbs, and fairy tales, in 1859 Iatrithis published a collection of ninety-six folkloric poems entitled Collection of Popular Songs, Old and New (Syllogi Thimotikon Asmaton Palaion kai Neon). With the scientific concern of a professional ethnographer he added explanatory notes, a list of toponyms, and a glossary. The subjects of the poems refer variously to all periods of Greek culture from antiquity to Byzantium and to the recent wars for independence. Nine lithographs illustrate the volume. Adapting image to content, Iatrithis shapes his aesthetic idiom to match the historical context of the poems. In a plate representing the 10th-century Emperor Romanos II created for a poem about the fall of Byzantium, he seeks inspiration in Byzantine icon painting. Romanos is portrayed as a full-length figure, flat, frontal and symmetrical, against a neutral background reminiscent of the abstract gold space of Byzantine icons. Similar to icon painting, too, are the abbreviated calligraphic inscriptions that flank the emperor’s crowned head (fig. 14). In the lithographs alluding to recent history, in turn, Iatrithis assumes a naïve popular aesthetic. Thus the Greek Independence War hero Karaiskakis, whom we see on horseback as he collapses mortally wounded in the battle of Faliron in 1827, has the formal awkwardness of popular woodcarvings and engravings (fig. 15). References to classical antiquity—such as ancient ruins—are subtly woven in the medieval or modern scenes as reminders of the diachronic nature of Greek culture seamlessly evolving from ancient past to modern times.
Iatrithis’s cultural syncretism was echoed, albeit more subtly, in the sophisticated academic paintings by members of the new school of Greek painters that emerged in liberated Greece. Significantly, and as opposed to their British, French and German counterparts, not a single one of these paintings deals with a classical subject. Although the majority of these painters were trained at the Munich Academy, they shunned grand history and opted instead for genre painting executed in a style of picturesque naturalism, rich in ethnographic content and colorful detail. Allusions to antiquity are nevertheless present, taking the form of discreet details, tucked in inconspicuous corners of the composition, but resonant with symbolic meaning. Their presence affirms the cycle that connects ancient past and folkloric present . To pick just a few examples, in his painting New Year’s Carols (1870s, fig. 16), the patriarch of the modern Greek school, the Tinian-born and Munich -trained artist Nikiphoros Lytras (1832-1904) brings together modern folklore, religious allusions harking to Byzantium, and the memory of antiquity—the three intersecting cultural legacies of the new Greek nation. In the interior of a rustic courtyard in a well-to-do village house, children wearing ethnic costumes sing ritual New Year’s songs (in Greek “kalanda”) accompanied by makeshift folkloric instruments, drums, metal triangles, and pipes. The mistress of the house listens on, holding her baby in her arms like a modern Byzantine Madonna. Immediately below her, a broken marble statue of a female divinity—perhaps Venus, a pagan goddess of the hearth—links the modern Greek mother to her classical antecedent. Nikolaos Gyzis (1842-1901), like Lytras born on the Aegean island of Tinos and trained in Munich where his career culminated in a prestigious professorship at the Munich Academy, embraced the same hybridized patriotic imagery in his anecdotal paintings of modern Greek history created primarily for a market of diasporic Greek amateurs as well as for wealthy upper-class Greek patrons living in Greece. For instance, the theme of Greece as historically evolving and diverse, yet one and indivisible through time, underlies several of Gyzis’s genre paintings of modern Greek life, including his The Secret School (1885; fig. 17). The painting illustrates a story that was more legend than historical reality, but a legend potent enough to carry vast national significance.62 During the centuries of Ottoman rule, when the Greek language was banned from schools, patriotic Greek children secretly attended makeshift “night schools” (or “secret schools,” in Greek “kryfo scholio”) run by Greek monks who instructed them in their native tongue. Gyzis’s “secret school” takes place in a dimly lit church basement with the children dressed in ethnic costumes fervently listening to an old monk reading from the Bible or perhaps from an ancient Greek text. A Greek chieftain from the war of independence is on guard, his rifle ready. He sits on broken marble architectural elements, bits and pieces of an Ionic capital and frieze, antique remains whose symbolic resonance is reinforced by their incongruous presence in the church basement.
With these and similar representational hybrids, emerging Greek modernism countered the streamlined and streamlining classical projections of an imperialist European vision. Both visions—foreign or locally-minted—were fabrications, rhetorical constructions entrusted with diverse and opposing political agendas: European expansionism versus Greek nationalism. The war for Greek independence may have long been over; the struggle for national affirmation went on, its arena merely shifted from the mountains of guerilla resistance in the early part of the century, to the more slippery terrain of cultural identity formation in its latter years.

This article was developed from research conducted while a Visiting Fellow in the Program in Hellenic Studies, at Princeton University, in 2004. Parts of it were presented as a paper at the 2005 College Art Association meeting in a session entitled Nineteenth-Century Art and Travel: Beyond Orientalism, chaired by Professor Elisabeth Fraser, of the University of Southern Florida. My thanks to Dimitri Gondicas, Executive Director of the Program in Hellenic Studies, for supporting my project and to Elisabeth Fraser for offering me the opportunity to air my views in public. Petra Ten-Doesschate Chu and the anonymous reader of this essay made valuable comments; Robert Alvin Adler’s editorial astuteness greatly improved the final version of the manuscript.

1. Cited in Puvis de Chavannes et le Museée des Beaux-Arts de Marseille , exh. cat. (Marseille: Musée des Beaux Arts, 1984), 45. The critical acclaim of Puvis as national French painter see Jennifer Shaw, Dream State: Puvis de Chavannes, Modernism and the Fantasy of France (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2002). Napoleon’s words were uttered in 1852 on the occasion of the inauguration of Marseille’s new Chamber of Commerce. Dominique Borne, “L’Europe réinvente la Méditerranée (1815-1945),” in Jean Carpentier and François Lebrun, eds., Histoire de la Méditerranée (Paris: Seuil, 1998), 331.

2. On the emergence of Greece as the prime locus—superseding Rome—of the late nineteenth-century fascination with classical antiquity especially in Britain, Richard Jenkyns, The Victorians and Ancient Greece (Oxford: Blackwell, 1980); Richard Jenkyns, Dignity and Decadence: Victorian Art and the Classical Inheritance (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992), and Frank Turner, The Greek Heritage in Victorian Britain (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1981).

3. Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Major Works (Oxford: Oxford World Classics, 2003), 549.

4. There is a large literature on the importance of Hellenism as ideological component to the construction of European national identities. More specifically on the construction of Greece as perennially classical by philhellenic discourse engendered within colonialist European nations—a colonization of the Greek ideal--and Greek responses to it, Stathis Gourgouris, Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization and the Institution of Modern Greece (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996). External and internal cultural constructions of Greek-ness are also the subject of Michael Herzfeld, Ours Once More: Folklore, Ideology, and the Making of Modern Greece (New York: Pella, 1986).

5. Borne makes the distinction between “nationalisme d’existence,” the nationalism of small fledgling nations, and “nationalisme de puissance,” that of dominant expansionist nations. Borne, “L’Europe réinvente la Méditerranée,” 389.

6. Control of he Mediterranean region was indeed an ongoing concern of intra-European politics throughout the nineteenth century (and well into the early twentieth century). What was perceived as the progressive weakening of the Ottoman Empire, which ruled a good part of the nations of the south-eastern Mediterranean, including Greece, Egypt, Syria, and Palestine, kindled competing expansionist projects in the southern European border and beyond among the most powerful nations: Russia, England, France, Austria, and Prussia. Armed conflicts in the vicinity and around the Mediterranean (the Greek and Italian wars of independence in the 1820s and 1850s, the Crimean war in 1855, the uprising of the Christian populations of Bulgaria, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Rumania against the Ottoman Empire in 1875-80, the economic crisis in Egypt in the 1880s, and rebellion in Tunisia in 1881) offered opportunities for Western European (and Russian) military intervention as well as for a more prolonged political and military presence. Borne, “L’Europe réinvente la Méditerranée.” Also see Jeremy Black, “The Mediterranean as a Battleground of the European Powers: 1700-1900” in David Abulafia, ed., The Mediterranean in History (London: Thames and Hudson, 2003), 251-81; and Charles-Robert Ageron, “Comment les Européens ont colonisé la Méditerranée,” Histoire (special issue, “Paix et guerre en Méditerranée”) no. 157, July-August, 1992, 104-11.

7. Edward Said, “Representing the Colonized: Anthropology’s Interlocutors,” Critical Inquiry 15, no. 2, (winter 1989): 205-25.

8. Gourgouris, Dream Nation, 6.

9. Köllnberger’s watercolors and drawings from Greece, a total of 102 pieces, are preserved in two albums in the Bavarian National Archives (Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Abteilung III, Kriegsarchiv). Copies commissioned to the German painter Hans Hanke in 1909 are at the National Historical Museum, Athens. See also, Marilena Kassimati ed., Athina-Monacho: Techni kai politismos stin nea Ellatha [Athens-Munich: Art and Culture in Modern Greece), exh. cat. (Athens:Greek Ministry of Culture, 2000), 496-501.

10. Tassos Vournas, Introduction to Edmond About, I Ellatha tou Othonos: I sychroni Ellatha 1854 [The Greece of Otto: Contemporary Greece 1854], Greek translation from the French original by A. Spilios, La Grèce contemporaine (Athens: Tolithis, n.d), 16.

11. Cited in Georgios Pharmakithis, O zographos Athanassios Iatrithis (1799-1866) [The Painter Athanassios Iatrithis 1799-1866] (Athens: P. Bolaris, 1960), 240.

12. On such attitudes among Victorian British travelers, see John Pemble, The Mediterranean Passion: Victorians and Edwardians in the South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987). Although the general impression was indeed one of decline and degeneracy, opposing voices based especially on ethnographic observation and linguistic study argued in favor of a continuity between the ancient and the modern Greeks. See, for example, the work of Frederick S. North Douglas, who traveled to Greece in 1810, with its declared purpose “to mark some of the most striking correspondences of features, character and manners, between the ancient and modern inhabitants.” Frederick S. North Douglas, An Essay on Certain Points of Resemblance between the Ancient and Modern Greeks (London: John Murray, 1813), 31. In his preface to “Hellas” (as in note 4), Shelley issued a passionate plea in favor of the modern Greeks whom he unabashedly proclaimed as the direct descendants of the ancient Greeks adding that, although real, their present-day degradation was the result of centuries’ long enslavement and was bound to disappear in a state of freedom.

13. Edmond About, La Grèce contemporaine, 2nd ed. (Paris: Hachette, 1855), 56. About retracted some of these views in his 1872 article entitled “Grèce,” in Pierre Larousse, ed., Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle, vol. 8.2, 1491, as cited in Athena Leoussi, Nationalism and Classicism: The Classical Body as National Symbol in Nineteenth-Century England and France (New York: Saint Martin’s Press 1998), 207 n. 132.

14. According to Athena Leoussi, Knox is considered a pioneering figure in Western pseudo-scientific racism. Leoussi, Nationalism and Classicism, 12-16. She writes that Knox was “a leading popularizer of these ideas which came to dominate European opinion from the middle of the nineteenth century onwards.Ibid., 13.

15. Thomas Leeb, Jakob Philipp Fallmerayer: Publizist und Politiker zwischen Revolution und Reaktion (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1996), 55. See also Elli Skopetea, Fallmerayer: Technasmata tou antipalou theous [Fallmerayer: Devices of the Opposing Belief] (Athens: Themelio, 1997), who argues that Fallmerayer’s theories were aimed not so much against the modern Greeks as against the conservative German academic and political establishment which was devoted to the concept of an ideal Hellenism, in particular the Bavarian classicism and philhellenism championed by King Ludwig I.

16. Quoted in Leoussi, Nationalism and Classicism, 21 from Gobineau’s article “Royaume des Hellènes” published in 1878, as mentioned in Jean Boissel, Gobineau, L’Orient et l’Iran, vol. 1 (Paris: Klincksieck, 1973). In his Essai sur l’inégalité des races humaines, 1853-55, Gobineau traced the origin of the Aryan Greeks, the Hellenes, to the mythical Titans, who resided in northern Greece. The various branches of the Hellenes, Dorians, Aeolians, Achaeans and Ionians, spread further south to conquer the rest of Greece. The time when the Aryan Greeks reigned in Greece was that of the Trojan wars described by Homer. According to Martin Bernal, Gobineau’s theories were part of a nineteenth-century constructed Aryanist “model” of ancient Greece, propelled by racism and anti-Semitic sentiment. Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, vol. 1, The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985 (London: Free Association of Books, 1987),chaps. 7 and 8. The Aryanist model revised and replaced an existing older model of Greek culture as formed by the influence of Eastern, African, and Semitic, civilizations. On another view of Gobineau’s theories focusing not on his racial but rather his ideological and social beliefs that held the ancient Greeks responsible for Europe’s decline because of their invention of a democratic political system that ultimately prevailed over the feudal monarchies and aristocratic elites (privileged by Gobineau), see Fotini Assimakopoulou, “Gobineau et la Grèce” (Ph.D. diss.,Université de Paris I [Pantheon-Sorbonne], Paris, 1996). Gobineau’s two essays on Greece, “Capodistrias” (1841) and “Le royaume des Hellènes” (1878) published together as Deux Etudes sur la Grèce moderne (Paris: Plon, 1905) were recently re-edited by Sophie Basch as Arthur de Gobineau: Au royaume des Hellènes, précédé des aventures athéniennes de Gobineau (Paris: Maurice Nadeau, 1993).

17. Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1993; Johannes Fabian, Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes its Object (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983).

18. Leoussi, Nationalism and Classicism, 13.

19. Ibid.,passim.

20. Quoted in Leoussi, Nationalism and Classicism, 109, from Anthony D. Smith, “Patriotism and Neoclassicism: The Historical Revival of French and English Painting and Sculpture 1746-1800” (Ph.D. diss. University of London, 1987), 324.

21. Jenkyns, The Victorians and Ancient Greece, 62.

22. Kassimati, Athina-Monacho, especially the essay by Raimund Wünsche, “Kallitera politis tis Ellathos para klironomos tou thronou: O vassilias Louthovikos A’ kai i Ellatha,” [Better a Citizen of Greece than the Heir to the Throne: King Ludwig I and Greece], 141-60; also, for the catalogue entries and illustrations, Kassimati, Athina-Monacho, 276-87. The marble busts were by Bertel Thorvaldsen (Ludwig I) and Enrico Franzoni (Otto).

23. On the political origins and political involvement of the archaeological schools in Greece see the conference papers collected in Roland Etienne ed., Les politiques de l’archéologie. Du milieu du XIXe à l’orée du XXIe, colloque organisé par l’Ecole française d’Athènes à l’occasion de la célébration du 150e anniversaire de sa fondation (Athens: Ecole française d’Athènes, 2000); Georges Radet, L’histoire et l’oeuvre de l’école française d’Athènes (Paris: Albert Fontemoing, 1901), passim, which concentrates on the politics of the French School and its politically-driven rivalry with the German and British Schools. Also see Catherine Valenti, “L’antiquité grecque au service de la politique: La création de l’école française d’Athènes (1829-1846)” in Retrouver, imaginer, utiliser l’antiquité: Actes du colloque international tenu à Carcassonne les 19 et 20 mai 2000, ed. Sylvie Caucanas, Rémy Cazals, and Pascal Payen (Toulouse: privately printed, 2001); and Catherine Valenti, L’école française d’Athènes (Paris: Belin, 2006).

24. Charles Lévêque, “La fondation et les débuts de l’Ecole française d’Athènes,” La Revue des Deux Mondes, March 1, 1898, 87. “Ce qu’il est nécessaire de dire et même de répéter avant tout, c’est que la fondation de l’École d’Athènes, pour une notable part, fut un acte politique.”

25. “Nous sommes crées et mis au monde pour répandre en Grèce l’influence de notre drapeau,” wrote Pierre-Antoine Grenier, a member of the Ecole française d’Athènes, in an October 30, 1847 letter from Greece. Quoted in Radet, L’histoire et l’oeuvre, 56, n. 2. Grenier was also the author of La Grèce en 1863 (Paris: Dentu, 1863), one of the relatively few books of memoirs about the Ottonian period by foreign visitors to Greece, along with those by Edmond About and Arthur de Gobineau.

26. Théophile Homolle, “L’école française d’Athènes,” La Revue de l’Art Ancien et Moderne 1 (1897): 7.

27. Helen Waterhouse, The British School at Athens: The First Hundred Years (London: Thames and Hudson, 1986), 50 ff.;and James Whitley, “Why Study Greek Archaeology? A Brief History of some British Rationalizations,” in Les politiques de l’archéologie du milieu du XIXe siècle à l’orée du XXIe, colloque organisé par l’Ecole francaise d’Athènes à l’occasion de la célébration du 15e anniversaire de sa fondation, Roland Etienne, ed. (Athens: Ecole française d’Athènes, 2000), 33-42.

28. On the subject of foreign archaeological Schools and their political role in the nineteenth century in general, see Stephen Dyson, The Pursuit of Ancient Pasts: A History of Classical Archaeology in theNineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), and Alain Schnapp, La conquête du passé: Aux origines de l’archéologie (Paris, éditions Carré, 1993). Specifically about Greece and the French, English, and German Schools, see Etienne, Les politiques de l’archéologie; Radet, L’histoire et l’oeuvre; Valenti, L’École française d’Athènes; Waterhouse, The British School at Athens; Andonis Zoes, I archaiologia stin Ellatha: Pragmatikotites kai Prooptikes [ Archaeology in Greece . Realities and Prospects] (Athens: Polytypo, 1990); Ulf Jantzen, Ein hundert Jahre Athener Institut 1874-1974 (Mainz: Ph. Von Zaubern, 1986); Suzanne Marchand, Down from Olympus: Archaeology and Philhellenism in Germany 1750-1970 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996); and Angeliki Kokkou, I merimna gia tis archaiotites stin Hellada kai ta prota mouseia,[The Preservation of Antiquities in Greece and the First museums] (Athens: Hermes, 1977).

29. Albert Dumont to the French Minsitry of Public Instruction, March 24, 1877, from Athens, quoted in Radet, L’histoire et l’oeuvre, 191.

30. Quoted in Marchand, Down from Olympus, 92.

31. Anonymous, “The Proposed British School of Archaeology in Athens,” The Academy, no. 666, February 7, 1885, 105.

32. Haris Yiakoumis and Isabelle Roy, La Grèce: La croisière des savants 1896-1912 (Paris: Picard, 1998).

33. These photographs, signed by a French photographer by the name of H. Brière, record the tour to Greece organized by the Revue générale des sciences in 1898. The glass negatives were discovered and published by Yiakoumis and Roy in La Grèce.

34. As quoted in Yiakoumis and Roy, La Grèce, 23.

35. Gaston Deschamps, La Grèce d’aujourd’hui (Paris: Armand Colin, 1892), as quoted in Yiakoumis and Roy, La Grèce, 11.

36. Richard Tomlinson, The Athens of Alma-Tadema (Wolfeboro Falls, NH: Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd, 1991), passim.

37. The collection of photographs was acquired after Alma Tadema’s death by the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was transferred to the University of Birmingham in 1947. Tomlinson, The Athens of Alma Tadema. Tadema also owned a large collection of ancient objects, vases, bronzes, small sculptures, which he used as props for his paintings. Rosemary Barrow, Lawrence Alma-Tadema (London: Phaidon, 2001).

38. On the role of photography as scientific recording tool and symbolic vehicle of colonial exploration and appropriation, see James Ryan, “Imperial Landscapes: Photography, Geography and British Overseas Exploration, 1858-1872,” in Geography and Imperialism 1820-1940,ed.Morag Bell, Robin Butli, and Michael Heffernan (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995), 53-79.

39. Said, Culture and Imperialism, xiv.

40. Yannis Hamilakis, “Monumental Visions: Bonfils, Classical Antiquity and Nineteenth-Century Athenian Society,” History of Photography 25, no. 1 (Spring 2001): 7. Also, in the same issue, Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, “Félix Bonfils and the Traveller’s Trail through Athens,” 13-21.

41. Haris Yiakoumis, La Grèce: Voyage photographique et littéraire au XIXe siècle (Athens: Bastas-Plessas, 1997) is a study of foreign and Greek early photographers of Greek landscapes, towns and antiquities. Little is known about Dimitrios Konstantinou except that he was trained in England and was active in Athens from around 1855 to 1875. See also Benaki Museum, Athens 1839-1900, a Photographic Record, exh. cat. (Athens: Benaki Museum, 1985). For painted views of the Acropolis similar to Leighton’s by a variety of foreign artists-travelers to Greece in the second half of the nineteenth century, see Fani Maria Tsigakou, The Rediscovery of Greece: Travellers and Painters of the Romantic Era (London: Thames and Hudson, 1981);Fani Maria Tsigakou, Through Romantic Eyes: European Images of Nineteenth-Century Greece from the Benaki Museum, exh. cat. (Alexandria, VA: Art Services International, 1991).

42. The panoramic vantage point over expanses of empty land is, according to Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes:Travel Writing and Transculturation (London and New York: Routledge, 1992), 201-8, a familiar “model” of imperialist representation, which she dubs “the monarch of all I can survey.”

43. As quoted in Leoussi, Nationalism and Classicism, 112.

44. Gerald Ackerman, The Life and Work of Jean-Léon Gérôme with a Catalogue Raisonné (London and New York: Sotheby’s, 1986), 136.

45. On the enthusiastic reception of the Tanagra statuettes in the universal exposition of 1878, Olivier Rayet, “Exposition Universelle: L’art grec au Trocadero,” Gazette des Beaux-Arts, August 1878, 350. Also Reynold Higgins, Tanagra and the Figurines (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), 163; and Jean-Léon Gérome and the Classical Imagination, exh. brochure (New York: Dahesh Museum, 1996).

46. Théodore Reinach, “Un temple élevé par les femmes de Tanagra,” in Revue des études grecques 12, (1899), 54.

47. Gregory Jusdanis, Belated Modernity and Aesthetic Culture:Inventing National Literatures (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1992), shows how Greeks embraced the classical vision forged by European nations as means to integrate themselves into the western community and separate themselves from accusations of Oriental barbarism.

48. Spyridon Zambelios, Asmata Thimotika tis Ellathos ekthothenta meta meletis istorikis peri mesaionikou ellinismou [Demotic Songs of Greece Published Along with a Historical Study about Mediaeval Hellenism], (Corfu:,1852), 7 On Zambelios, see Ioannis Koubourlis, La formation de l’histoire nationale grecque: L’apport de Spyridon Zambelios 1815-1881,(Athens: Institut de recherche neohelléniques. Fondation nationale de la recherche scientifique), 2005.

49. Kokkou, I merimna, passim. For a general overview of archaeological practices in liberated Greece, see Klaus Fittschen, “Archeologikes erevnes stin Ellatha stin epochi to vassilia Othona” [Archaeological Investigations in Greece at the Time of King Otto], in Kassimati, Athina-Monacho, 213-28.

50. This is mentioned by both Kokkou, I merimna, 85-91, and Fittschen, “Archeologikes erevnes,” 213-28.

51. On Rangaves, see E. Th. Souloyanni, Alexandros Rizos Rangaves 1809-1892: I zoi kai to ergo tou, [Alexandros Rizos Rangaves 1809-1892: His Life and Work] (Athens: Arsenithis, 1995); and Rangaves’s memoirs, Apomnimonevmata (Athens: Kasthonis, 1894).

52. Kokkou, I merimna, 85-99.

53. Fittschen, “Archeologikes erevnes,”217-21, passim. Kokkou, I merimna, 70-85.

54. Herzfeld, Ours Once More.

55. Ibid., 31. Herzfeld argues that the surge in ethnographic studies and in the writing of comprehensive histories of Greece came largely as a defensive Greek response to “attacks” from abroad that contested modern Greek identity and its continuity with the ancient past, such as, pre-eminently, Fallmerayer’s.

56. On the use of various “typologies of time” (time measured in terms of “socioculturally meaningful events”) used by anthropological discourse, see Fabian, Time and the Other, 21-35.

57. A magisterial example in that regard is the historian Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos’s multi-volume Istoria tou ellinikou ethnous apo ton archaiotaton chronon mechri ton kath’emas [A history of the Greek nation from the remotest antiquity to our times], first published in 1853.

58. Kyriakos Pittakis, “Yli ina chrissimevsi pros apothyxin oti I nyn katoikountes tin Ellatha eisin apogonoi ton archaeon Ellinon” [Materials Intended to Serve as Proof that those now Residing in Greece are the Descendants of the Ancient Greeks], Archaiologiki Efimeris, November 30, 1852, 644.

59. The only monograph on Iatrithis to date is Pharmakithis, O zographos Athanassios Iatrithis. Also Kokkou, I merimna, 56, 66, 70-71, and passim.

60. Pharmakithis, O zographos Athanassios Iatrithis, 14.

61. The marble stele is Athens National Museum, no. 871. Christoph W. Clairmont, Classical Attic Tombstones (Kilchberg, Switzerland: Akanthus, 1993), illustration no. 2.954. I thank Jenifer Neils for this reference.

62. On the national and nationalist significance of Gyzis’s painting see Antonis Danos, “Nikolaos Gyzis’s The Secret School and an Ongoing National Discourse,” Nineteenth-Century Art Worlwide 1, no. 2 (Autumn, 2002), Danos underscores the largely mythical nature of the “secret school” tradition which is supported by no historical evidence, and its key role, in the process of modern Greek national identity construction. See also my essay “Classicism and Resistance in Nineteenth-Century European Art,” in Vojtech Jirat-Wasiutynski, Modern Art and the Idea of the Mediterranean (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), 161-80.