Count Flamburiari’s lecture on Corfu’s Heritage

The School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Economics at the International Hellenic University – IHU, Thessaloniki, is organising lectures by significant personalities on this subject.

On the invitation of Dr Eleni Mavragani, Assistant Professor for the Master of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management at the IHU, leading the Cultural Heritage Tourism module, Count Spiro Flamburiari gave a lecture to the students via Zoom from the Corfu Reading Society at 5.30pm on the 25th of February 2021.

He started by saying that in his life he has two loves – the first for his wife and the second for Corfu. Amongst his interests for the preservation of Corfu’s heritage he referred to the upgrading of the Corfu Reading Society and the support of the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society. He also expressed his interest in Anglo-Hellenic relations owed to the fact that the British Protectorate has been responsible for a number of benefits to Corfu: road networks; waterworks; the British Cemetery; the Psychiatric Clinic; the British Hospital; the Church of St George; the Ionian Bank; and the introduction of cricket and the ginger beer.

The subject of the lecture was based on his achievements in connection to Corfu. He introduced the following issues: the Corfu Heritage Foundation; his book “Corfu: The Garden Isle”; the Corfu Heritage Foundation Memorial Plaques; the Edward Lear Society; the Corfu Festivals of 2018, 2021 and 2024; and finally the Obelisk for 1716.

Regarding the Corfu Heritage Foundation, he referred to its creation in 2000 and its objects. About his book “Corfu: The Garden Isle”, he referred to all the academic contributors, the two photographers and HRH the Duke of Kent, who wrote the introduction. Concerning the Corfu Heritage Foundation Memorial Plaques, he referred to a number of personalities associated with Corfu, including Count John Capodistria, HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Angelos Giallina, Edward Lear, Lord Guilford and George Rallis. He also analysed the importance of introducing to the general public and students the local history of Corfu via a peripatetic tour all around Corfu Old Town. He introduced the Edward Lear Society, mentioning its foundation in 2014 and its objects. He said that Edward Lear was a great personality in literature and painting, culturally bridging Corfu and England. When the Society was founded, he commissioned Margot Roulleau-Gallais to create Lear’s bust in bronze, which is permanently exhibited in the Corfu Reading Society (see picture). He also spoke about organising a number of Festivals in Corfu to celebrate significant anniversaries. In 2018 the Festival celebrated the Bicentenary of the founding of the Order of St Michael and St George. In 2021 the Festival celebrates the Bicentenary of the Greek Revolution of 1821. In 2024 the Festival will honour the Bicentenary of the founding in Corfu of the Ionian Academy by Lord Frederick North, Earl of Guilford. In closing he spoke with pride about the Obelisk, 8 metres high, that will be erected at the new roundabout of the Corfu Port Authority. It is inscribed in Greek, English, Italian and Russian with following text: “to the memory of the Corfiots who fought heroically during the Ottoman Siege of Corfu in 1716”.

Count Flamburiari’s passion for Corfu is renowned and clearly perceptible. However, he underlined the importance of the young generation to join forces in order to continue his vision for the preservation of the Heritage of Corfu.

Count Flamburiari in the Corfu Reading Society’s Reading Room.
Count Flamburiari with the bust of Edward Lear.
Dimitris Zymaris, Manos Ziniatis and Count & Countess Flamburiari.

Spiro Flamburiari: The Zakynthian of Corfu who honours the Ionian Islands and promotes them in Europe

Interview by Vasilis Moutsios

[English translation below the visuals]

2020.10.09-Stigmes-12
“Spiro Flamburiari”, Stigmes, Day of Zakynthos, 9 October 2020, p. 12
2020.10.09-Stigmes-13
“Spiro Flamburiari”, Stigmes, Day of Zakynthos, 9 October 2020, p. 13
2020.10.09-Stigmes-14
“Spiro Flamburiari”, Stigmes, Day of Zakynthos, 9 October 2020, p. 14
2020.10.09-Stigmes-15
“Spiro Flamburiari”, Stigmes, Day of Zakynthos, 9 October 2020, p. 15

Spiro Flamburiari: The Zakynthian of Corfu who honours the Ionian Islands and promotes them in Europe

Interviewed by Vasilis Moutsios 

[“Stigmes” magazine in the “Day of Zakynthos” newspaper, 9 October 2020, pp. 12-15]

VM: Count Flamburiari, we would like to start our discussion with a few words about your family and how today is reached with you being a Zakynthian from Corfu who has not visited Zakynthos.

SF: My family settled in Constantinople and being a member of the Byzantine aristocracy, took refuge after the fall of the City, in 1453, in Venice, where it settled. From Venice it went to Crete during the Venetian occupation. When Crete was occupied by the Ottomans, in 1669, the Flamburiari fled to Zakynthos and then to Corfu.

Unfortunately, I have never visited Zakynthos until today. Nothing prevented me from visiting it. My theoretical love for the island and the desire to visit it is postponed from year to year since I have been living permanently in London for over 60 years and I come with my wife only for three months every summer in Corfu. What one is facing is what my wife tells me, that we are coming to Corfu for three months and we do not visit another place.

But now, with the impetus of the Zakynthian Regional Governor of the Ionian Islands, my dear Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, I will visit Zakynthos very soon.

VM: What is Zakynthos for you? The legacy of the Flamburiari family? Their cultural heritage?

SF: It is a part of my life. I feel an attraction like for Corfu where I was born and spent my childhood. For Zakynthos, due to the history and the past of my family heritage and its culture, I feel a special emotion.

The Flamburiari family appears much more in Zakynthos than in Corfu. The Museum of Zakynthos (Museum of Solomos & Eminent Zakynthians) has many paintings with portraits of the Flamburiari family, something that does not happen in Corfu. This creates a closer “kinship” for me.

VM: The Corfu Heritage Foundation, in the context of the events for the 200 years since the Revolution of 1821, is preparing a series of events entitled “Hymn to Liberty”. What is your goal?

SF: The Municipality of Corfu is interested having neither the means nor the knowledge to promote events in Corfu.

We use Corfu as the seat of the Ionian Islands to promote all the islands in two ways. An Exhibition with works and collections of Heptanesians and everything else that unites the Ionian Islands. This has a more substantial dimension than just promoting Corfu. We are based in Corfu and represent all the Ionian Islands in various ways.

VM: How does this initiative relate to the present and the future?

SF: The story goes on. The past, the present and the future are joined. Although for me personally today does not exist, because it disappears in front of tomorrow and the focus of what we will do and how we will live tomorrow. Thus we will achieve a continuum and unite our islands through actions that we plan and have not been done for many years.

VM: Is the Museum of Solomos & Eminent Zakynthians part of this initiative for 1821, undertaken by the Corfu Heritage Foundation?

SF: Our events include our collaboration with the Museum of Solomos & Eminent Zakynthians with paintings and objects of collections, and at the same time with the Museum of Solomos of Corfu.

VM: Can we claim to be liberated today?

SF: Everything is relative in our life, even the meaning we give to liberty, which when it depends on external factors then its essential content is altered.

VM: How do you see Corfu and the Ionian Islands today? Are they worthy of the past?

SF: I cannot say about the other islands. In Corfu I am fighting, I am persistently fighting for the island. I have two loves in my life, my wife and Corfu. But “one swallow does not a summer make”. I make great efforts, many things for Corfu, such as the revitalisation of the Corfu Reading Society, the oldest cultural association in Greece, which some recognise.

Unfortunately, the people of Corfu do not care and are not interested in the rich history of their place, and this upsets me.

VM: The contribution of the Corfu Heritage Foundation is important. What are its main actions?

SF: From my youth, I had the idea to create the Corfu Heritage Foundation to preserve and protect the historical heritage of Corfu and at the same time to promote Anglo-Greek relations. The Foundation was established on April 6, 2000 (www.corfuheritagefoundation.org), and the first Founding Members were Pericles Lascaris, Architect, and Yannis Petsalis, Historian and Art Collector.  The objects of the Corfu Heritage Foundation are: 1) to promote Anglo-Hellenic relations; 2) to restore the buildings in the island deemed by the Trustees to be of historical importance; 3) to preserve historical monuments and the grand old estates; 4) to support the objects and endeavours of the Corfu Reading Society; 5) to support the Brass Bands of Corfu; 6) to establish and erect the Corfu Heritage Plaques concerning personalities and buildings of historical significance; 7) to curate permanent or temporary exhibitions of art; 8) to promote musical and artistic events; 9) to promote the game of Cricket; and 10) to carry out publications of all kind relevant to the Foundation.

VM: Indicatively, what activities that characterise you would you mention? Is your offer recognised?

SF: Over time, my involvement in promoting Corfu’s close relationship with Great Britain turns into a passion. In my book “Corfu – The Garden Isle” (London: John Murray, 1994) I have dedicated many chapters dealing with the British protectorate.

Presenting the Hellenic equivalent of the British Blue Plaques, I paid special attention to the promotion of important people and buildings of historical importance related to Corfu. I placed special plaques that are inscribed in Greek and English with the names of prominent Hellenes, Corfiots and foreigners and the history of selected historic buildings in the town, so that local and foreign visitors may learn the history of the place.

Considering that Edward Lear could be the bridge that connects Corfu with Great Britain, I commissioned with some of my friends the acclaimed sculptor Margot Roulleau-Gallais to create a bronze bust of Lear, which is on display at the most prominent literary institution in Greece, the Corfu Reading Society.

In 2014, together with Derek Jones, I founded the Edward Lear Society (www.edwardlearsociety.org), with the aim of promoting knowledge and education and preserving and protecting all issues related to the heritage, writing, work and painting by Edward Lear.

In 2018, the Corfu Heritage Foundation organised a series of events to celebrate the bicentenary since the creation in Corfu and Malta of the Order of St Michael and St George. I am proud that one of my ancestors, Count Dionysio Flamburiari, was honoured with the insignia of the Order in 1857. We try to revitalise, preserve and promote the best of Corfu.

VM: Are there any difficulties in the work carried out by the Corfu Heritage Foundation?

SF: There are always difficulties. Particularly when I decided to copy from London and bring to Corfu the British Blue Plaques, I struggled for two years with the Municipality of Corfu to be granted permission of placing them gratis. The delay of the permission was attributed by the Municipality of Corfu to the fact that there were more important issues to be dealt with.

I am stubborn. I set goals and achieve them no matter how long I need to wait. So I do for seven years to place an Inscribed Memorial Obelisk at the new junction of the Corfu Port Authority to honour the 200 Corfiots who fought in 1716 against the Ottomans, where many of them lost their lives.

VM: What do Great Britain and London mean in your life?

SF: When you have lived in London for 60 years, it is your second home. It is a place that respects its history, and in which “yes” is accompanied by “please” and “no” by “thank you”. There you know where you stand and you feel satisfied as a person. All this is foreign to Corfu!

VM: What would you advise a young man who is now at the beginning of his career?

SF: To aim for consistency and continuity. Consistency in what one does, and continuity in the confidence one has in what one does.

[Translated by Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD]

The Flamburiari Family

The Flamburiari family having settled in Constantinople and being a member of the Byzantine aristocracy, took refuge after the fall of the city in 1453 in Venice, where they settled. From Venice the family moved to Crete during the Venetian occupation. When Crete was occupied by the Ottomans, in 1669, the Flamburiari fled to Zakynthos and then to Corfu.

Under the rule of Venice, the Flaburiari offered outstanding military services to the Republic. In return for the exceptional military offerings of Sior Giovanni Flamburiari, the Venetian Senate of the Most Serene, on the 1st of November 1768, conferred on him the title of Count with the right to bequeath it to his male descendants and to enroll him in the Libro d’Oro. He was also provided with large estates. The monastery of the Theotokos Anafonitria in Zakynthos was added to his property on the 25th of September 1784 as an honour.

The Flamburiari include important personalities who played a significant role in the history of Greece and especially against the strong Ottoman oppression. Anastasio Flamburiari (1774-1828) held various political positions during the period of the Republic of the Seven United Islands. As an ardent member of the Filiki Eteria, he offered money and great services to the national liberation struggle.

Dionysio Flamburiari (1810-1874) was appointed prosecutor of Zakynthos under the English Protection. However, because he signed a petition to King George IV of England to reform the oppressive constitution of Sir Thomas Maitland, he was deposed and exiled to Venice. When he returned, he was appointed prosecutor of Corfu and was elected Legislator and Speaker of the Ionian Parliament. On the 9th of July 1857 he was honoured with the Grand Cross of Saints Michael and George. In honour of this family a village, located 25 km north of the city of Ioannina, was named ‘Flamburari’.

The Flamburiari family is one of the rarest without further synonyms. Therefore, all individuals with this name are related in varying degrees by kinship. The family is related to the Capodistria, Giustiniani, Marmora, de la Porta, Ralli, Theotoki and Valaoriti.

[The text above is based on the entry for the Flamburiari family – Leonidas Ch. Zois, Dictionary of the History and Folklore of Zakynthos, Volume A’, Athens: National Printing Office, 1963, pp. 682-683]

“Greek Island Odyssey” with Bettany Hughes – 2020″

This is the 6th and last episode of the “Greek Island Odyssey” series presented by Bettany Hughes and produced in Corfu for Channel 5.

Count Flamburiari welcomed Bettany Hughes in his villa “La Serenissima” and discussed in detail the subjects that the film should include. Amongst the subjects were the Corfu Old Town, the Corfu Reading Society, the Archaeological Museum, the Palace of St Michael and St George, the Byzantine Art Museum of Antivouniotissa, the Byzantine Church of Jason and Sosipatros, Mon Repos, the Old Fortress, the Ionian Academy and the Maitland Memorial. The discussion included a number of monuments referring to the British Protectorate (1814-1864) – the Sir Frederick Adam statue, the Sir Howard Douglas Obelisk, and the Earl of Guilford statue (founder of the Ionian Academy). It was pointed out that the architectural influence of the Old Town is Venetian. The Liston Arcades were constructed during the brief Napoleonic occupation of Corfu (1807-1814) and are a copy of Rue de Rivoli in Paris. Much was said about the contribution of Lord Adam – especially the irrigation system and roadworks. Finally mention was made of the traditions that the British left behind – namely Cricket and Ginger Beer!

Greek Odyssey #1
Arriving in Corfu.
Greek Odyssey #2
Corfu in the centre of the world.
Greek Odyssey #3
View of Old Corfu Town.
Greek Odyssey #3
Count Flamburiari welcoming Bettany.
Greek Odyssey #4
Bettany reaching the shore of Corfu.
Greek Odyssey #5
Tarzan interrupts the peaceful encounter!
Greek Odyssey #6
Tarzan as a movie star!
Greek Odyssey #7
Count Flamburiari offering a branch of peace.
Greek Odyssey #7
A lovely encounter.
Greek Odyssey #8
Bettany and the Count towards La Serenissima.
Greek Odyssey #9
Countess Flamburiari explaining the history of the keystone heads.
Greek Odyssey #9
Introductory conversation about the scenes to follow.
Greek Odyssey #13
Mon Repos, the birthplace of HRH Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.
Greek Odyssey #14
Mon Repos in its present state as a museum.
Greek Odyssey #14
Thomas Maitland Memorial at the Upper Esplanade, Old Corfu Town.
Greek Odyssey #15
End credits.

Corfu Festival 2021

“Hymn to Liberty”

Festival of Corfu 2021 for the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution

Curated by Megakles Rogakos, MA MA Phd

Organised by the Corfu Heritage Foundation

under the auspices of the Region of Ionian Islands

with the support of the Corfu Municipality

and the sponsorship of Aegeas N.P.C., Piraeus Bank and Lady Marina Marks

“Hymn to Liberty”

Events for the Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821 in Corfu

To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, the Corfu Heritage Foundation programmes a series of cultural events related to the letters, music and the visual arts. These events are generally entitled “Hymn to Liberty” and cover the importance of the Greek Revolution and the role played by the Ionian Islands during this period. The events will take place at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu and the Cultural Foundation of Tinos, during the months of July and September 2021, and are run under the auspices of the Region of Ionian Islands, the support of the Municipality of Corfu and the sponsorship of the Piraeus Bank.

EVENTS | The festivities will begin with the unveiling of the Obelisk in memory of the Corfiots who heroically fought against the Ottoman invasion of 1716, at the new roundabout of the Corfu Port Authority. Greetings will be addressed by the Governor of the Ionian Islands, Mrs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou. This will be followed by a spectacular concert on the theme “Hymn to Liberty” by Nikolaos Mantzaros performed by the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society and the Kapodistrias Philharmonic Association under the direction of Socrates Anthis and the collaboration of the Corfu Choir under the direction of Takis Metallinos.

Lectures | Three lectures will be presented at the Corfu Reading Society, under the curatorship of its Director Mr Dimitris Zymaris.

• Spyros I. Nicolaou, State Counselor Emeritus, under the title “The European Dimension of the Greek Revolution of 1821”.

• Major General Dr Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis under the title “The Filiki Eteria in Corfu, the Persons and the Affinities”.

• Helena Matheopoulos under the title “The Greek Revolution of 1821 as Inspiration for Music”.

Musical Events | Seven concerts of the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society with excerpts from operas of European and Corfiot composers, will be presented in the courtyard of the Church of St George in the Old Fortress under the supervision of Ms Helena Matheopoulos.

• Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827): The Ruins of Athens (1811).

• Hector Berlioz (1803-1869): La Révolution Grècque (1826), Cantata “Scène Héroïque” (baritone and choir).

• Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868): L’assedio di Corinto (1826), “Giusto ciel” (soprano).

• Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901): Il Corsaro (1848), Aria of Medora (soprano) and Corrado (tenor), “Per me infelice vedi costei”.

• Pavlos Carrer (1829-1896): Markos Botsaris (1860): Aria of Markos, “Gero-Dimos”.

• Pavlos Carrer (1829-1896): Kyra Frosini (1868), Aria of Ali Pasha, “April appeared” (baritone).

• Pavlos Carrer (1829-1896): Despo, the heroine of Souli (1875), Aria of Triumph (mixed choir).

Visual Art Exhibitions | Two exhibitions curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos.

• “Hymn to Liberty” – Historical exhibition to be presented at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu, 4 – 31 August 2021.

• “Ex-Staseis: Attempts at the Representation of Liberty” – Contemporary art exhibition to be presented at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos, 10 July – 10 September 2021.

CONTRIBUTORS

Almpani, Maria – Alma Contemporary Art Gallery, Director

Baloti, Xeni D. – Scientific Associate

Bogdanos, Spyros – Scientific Associate of Ionian Islands, Paxos

Demeti, Katerina – Scientific Associate of Ionian Islands, Zakynthos

Flamburiari, Spiro – Corfu Heritage Foundation, President

Floros, Andreas – Ionian University, Rector

Gkotsi, Aleka – Design Bond, Designer

Grammatopoulou, Gianna – Ekfrasi Art Gallery, Director

Harou-Koroneou, Eleni – Scientific Associate of Ionian Islands, Kythira

Kourkoumelis, Nikolaos – Scientific Associate

Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Rodi – Ionian Islands Region, Regional Governor

Matheopoulos Helena – Scientific Associate

Moraitis, Spyros – Gallery of the Municipality of Corfu, President

Moustakas, Nikos – Ionian University, Supervisor of Audio & Video

Nicolaou, Spyros – Research Fellow

Padovas, Spyros – Corfu Philharmonic Society, President

Pagratis Periklis – Solomos Museum of Corfu, President

Paizi-Apostolopoulou, Machi – Scientific Associate of the Ionian Islands, Ithaca

Pieris, Giannis S. – Scientific Associate of Ionian Islands, Corfu

Rizopoulos, George – Collector

Rogakos, Megakles – Corfu Heritage Foundation, Curator

Roussou, Maria – Scientific Associate of Ionian Islands, Lefkada

Tassopoulou, Maria – Scientific Associate of Ionian Islands, Lefkada

Tritsis, Macis – Design Bond, Designer

Trivizas, Ioannis Ch. – Mantzaros Philharmonic Society, President

Varkarakis, Michalis – Philhellenic Collection Varkarakis

Vidalis, Markos – Cultural Foundation of Tinos, Executive Director

Ydraiou, Meropi – Municipality of Corfu, Mayor

Zafeiratou, Theodora – Scientific Associate of Ionian Islands, Kefalonia

Zervos, Haris – Kapodistrias Philharmonic Association, President

Zymaris, Dimitris – Corfu Reading Society, Director

GREETINGS

In 2021 we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, in a climate of global uncertainty, due to the pandemic, but also confidence, owing to our past. If we consider that two centuries ago the Greeks, a small people with great soul rose up against their oppressors, overthrew the Ottoman Empire, conquered our freedom and achieved our independence and the creation of our national state, it suffices for us to draw strength hereafter.

2021 marks 221 years after the inception of the Septinsular Republic in the Ionian Sea, that is the first Greek state after the catalysis of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottomans, in 1453. The Septinsular Republic, although short-lived (1800-1807), had a large impact on the leaders of the Revolution, led by Theodoros Kolokotronis. However, special, among them, is the insurmountable Count Ioannis Kapodistrias. With his patriotic action he had the double privilege to associate his name to both the Septinsular Republic and governance of our country when in 1827 he was chosen to be the first governor of Greece (1828-1831). He proclamed the establishment of the Greek State and dedicated his life only to it. The United States of the Ionian Islands (1815-1864), which succeeded the Septinsular Republic, as a Greek semi-autonomous state and protectorate of the United Kingdom played an important role in the emancipation of Greece.

The album at hand pays tribute to the greatness of the Greek Revolution of 1821, it takes this opportunity to highlight the beneficial contribution of the Ionian Islands in the national liberation work and its catalytic influence on the evolution and formation of modern Greek history.

Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou

Governor of the Region of Ionian Islands

The Greek Revolution of 1821 is the brightest moment of the unified long history of our nation. Based on its brilliant past, Greece regenerated from erebus of slavery of the Ottoman occupation, which lasted four centuries (1453-1821). The Ionian Islands, even when the Ottoman Empire extended to all the Balkans, and any progress ceased, not only arose firmly proudly as a beacon of the West in all aspects of culture, but guarded values, customs, manners, literature, culture, traditions and all the artistic expressions, as a guardian of greek culture.

For this reason, the celebration of 1821 gives the opportunity to the Corfu Heritage Foundation also to erect the “Obelisk of 1716”, which honours Corfiots, amongst the Europeans, who fought heroically against the Ottoman invasion then, but also in previous siege of Corfu by Suleiman the Magnificent in 1537. As much as the problems of religious intolerance, which we live in today and at the European level, will intensify, it is always useful to reach out to history in order to learn from these lessons. Mostly let us remember that freedom is the basis of Democracy, which led Greece and inspired both the American and the French Revolution, and as a European value it is our duty to defend it.

The main message of our events is that Greece certainly belongs to the West because Western civilization was born in Greece! The other big message for future generations is that the ultimate struggle for independence from each yoke is timely forever. Whichever man respects himself is called to be always ready to fight for freedom as a “hero of 1821”!

Count Spiro Flamburiari

President of the Corfu Heritage Foundation

The exhibition entitled “Hymn to Liberty” is held in honour of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821, which concerns the liberation of the nation from the Ottoman yoke and the creation of an independent nation state. The works of the exhibition will be in various forms and from different periods of the bicentennial, and will concern the historical period of the national uprising.
The “Ex-Staseis” exhibition is thematic and concerned with attempts at the representation of liberty. The subject is philosophical and concerns inner freedom, i.e. the independence of thought and reason from the gravity of superstitions, prejudices, vices, authorities, etc. The word Ex-Staseis is a witticism, punning with the plural form of the term.

Acknowledgement – 2018

London, 12 October 2018

Acknowledgement of a successful Bicentenary Festival 2018

It was almost a year ago that I came up with the idea of celebrating in 2018 the 200th anniversary of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George in Corfu.

With this in mind, I undertook with colleagues of the Foundation to organise a series of events, which would cover at least a period of three months. This took me over seven months at considerable expense and hard work to put together the various festivities, which at the end had a tremendous success.

HM The Queen’s letter, dated 24 July 2018, congratulated us for a “wonderful publication […] beautifully illustrated”!

In his letter, dated 11 September 2018, Lord Jacob Rothschild wrote, “You’ve achieved wonders with the Festival. Many congratulations and best wishes.

I am very proud and extremely happy that all my efforts have received such positive recognition.

HRH the Duke of Kent’s forward to our bicentennial publication gave our events enormous prestige. The fact that the British Embassy Athens, two Ministries of the Hellenic Republic – Culture and Tourism – and the Mayor of Corfu have granted their auspices gave to our Festival official standing.

I am also proud because all the events, which the Foundation managed to organise, boosted Anglo-Hellenic friendship in Corfu. This was one of my main goals. Thank God all our efforts have been recognised by individuals, companies, foundations, institutions, the media – Greek and foreign – and all kinds of people.

At this stage it is important to mention the following:

i.  Our five lectures attracted an audience of approximately 500 people. They included various subjects – the history of the Order, Anglo-Hellenic friendship, music, Edward Lear, Romanticism, historic and contemporary visual art.

ii.  The Mantzaros Philharmonic Orchestra played at the Esplanade’s Band Stand Greek music, but, most important, British Military music, played for the first time ever in Corfu, on scores that we provided them with from London. An achievement enjoyed by a substantial crowd. They even sang “Rule Britannia!”

iii.  Our three exhibitions have been visited by over 4,000 people.

iv.  Finally, the two cricket matches involving English, South African and Corfu teams duly honoured the Order.

In total 11 well-attended events took place to celebrate the bicentenary of the Order. It is worthwhile noting that it has been the first time such celebrations on this scale ever took place on Corfu to honour the Order at least outside the United Kingdom.

In addition, I should also mention the following:

1. 1,500 bicentennial publications have been distributed gratis. In his letter, dated 28 August 2018, Lord Rothschild wrote, “Many, many congratulations on the celebrations and on the handsome book, which you put together for the bi-centenary. It is a great achievement.”

2. 3,500 leaflets were distributed.

3. 300 posters were displayed in town.

4. Four enormous banners were displayed in areas advertising our events.

Please note that our Facebook yielded 1M+ global reach (see below Report of Performance Review by Social Media).

On this happy note I think that the above brings to an end the circle of events that took place in Corfu to celebrate the Bicentenary of the Order.

I take also the opportunity in thanking HE the British Ambassador, as well as all of you for your support throughout this period.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Spiro Flamburiari

Spiro Flamburiari
Chairman, Corfu Heritage Foundation

 

Report of Performance Review by Social Media

1. Website: Total views 5,053 with a peak in June of 1,1k and 2,049 visitors.

2. Facebook: 1M+ global reach with average 2,2k reacted with the page.

3. Instagram: Total likes 1,175, with an average of 11 likes per post (the contemporary art highly rated).

4. Twitter: 454 impressions in the last 91 days (2.3% engagement).

5. Google+ & Youtube: Not used. Created for future use.

 

 

Auspices:
British Embassy Athens

 

Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Culture & Sports

 

Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Tourism

 

Municipality of Corfu

 

Support:
Ionian University

 

Corfu Reading Society

 

Mantzaros Philharmonic Society

 

Cricket Corfu

 

Sponsorship:
Rothschild Foundation

 

Aegeas N.P.C.

 

Fourlis Group

 

www.thethink.co.uk

 

CV Villas

 

Cavalieri Hotel

 

MarBella Corfu

 

MarBella Nido

 

Corfu Country Club

 

Aegean Airlines

 

Communication  Sponsorship:

 

Kathimerini

 

Corfu TV

 

Start TV

 

Kerkyra Publications

 

Economia

 

Corfu Tourist

Corfu Festival 2018

PRESS RELEASE

Festivities for the Bicentenary of the Order of St Michael and St George in Corfu 1818 – 2018

 

CORFU.- As it is well known, George IV, as Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, founded the Order of St Michael and St George in Corfu and in Malta on 28 April 1818, two hundred years ago. This forms part of Corfu’s history and belongs to its heritage. In fact, the history of the Order begins with the visions of Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824), Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands and Governor of Malta after the Napoleonic Wars.

Count Spiro Flamburiari, Chairman of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, has had the inspiration to honour the bicentenary of the Order this year with a Festival aiming to boost British-Hellenic relations in Corfu. His whole life has been devoted to the promotion of the island and its prosperity, and to highlight the significance of its heritage.

The Festival takes place under the auspices of the British Embassy Athens, the Hellenic Republic’s Ministries of Culture and Tourism, and the Municipality of Corfu. Events – including 5 lectures, 2 brass band concerts, 3 visual art exhibitions and 1 cricket match – will take place between 7 July and 30 September 2018.

 

3 August – Mr Derek Johns,  “Romanticism – A Brief Introduction”.

6 August – HE Ms Kate Smith CMG, “British-Hellenic Friendship in Corfu”.

24 August – Ms Helena Matheopoulos, “Music in 1818”.

28 August – Sir Efthimios E. Mitropoulos KCMG, “The Order of St Michael and St George”.

4 September – Mr Nicholas Parsons CBE, “Edward Lear – Artist ∙ Poet ∙ Wanderer”.

 

5 August – Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Esplanade’s Band Stand.

7 September – Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Old Fortress.

 

7 – 29 July – “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Historical Perspective.

2 – 26 August – “Romanticism in Corfu”.

1 – 29 September – “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Contemporary Perspective.

 

  • Cricket Matches organised by Sir Simon Orr-Ewing Bt and Mr Nikos Louvros.

13 May – Matches between the Lost Marbles and the Cricket Corfu teams.

A fully-illustrated 130-page catalogue, with introductions by HRH The Duke of Kent, HE Ms Kate Smith and Count Spiro Flamburiari, and covering all aspects of the Festival, is published by the Corfu Heritage Foundation (ISBN: 978-618-83770-0-4).

 

  • Public Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Count Spiro Flamburiari and the Corfu Heritage Foundation

Count Spiro Flamburiari was born in Corfu. During his private education he was taught five languages. Subsequently he read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Athens. Instead of joining the Foreign Office he was appointed as a commercial link between Greece, Poland and East Germany. This lead to the creation of the 3rd biggest advertising and public relations company in Athens. All this did not last too long, as his goal was always to establish himself in London. A number of years ago he became a British subject and married Lady Mildred-Mary, niece of Lord Beaverbrook. Milly, as she is known, is a brilliant colourist whose paintings belong to that tradition of English illustrators, such as Edmond Dulac and Kay Nielsen. In London, Spiro befriended Sir Simon Orr-Ewing, and the two of them set up a business group to develop tourist units. One of them was “Helios”, a 600-bed hotel development in Corfu. Eventually it was acquired by Club Méditerranée and became its flagship worldwide.

However, Corfu and the British-Hellenic relationship have always been his main priority. He is well-known for his book “Corfu: The Garden Isle” (John Murray, 1994), the installation of the equivalent of the English Blue Plaques, the creation of the Edward Lear Society (London, 2014) with his friend Derek Johns, the creation of the Corfu Heritage Foundation (London, 2000) and his involvement in a number of events aiming to boost British-Hellenic friendship in Corfu. His latest project is organising the Corfu Festival 2018 to celebrate, with a number of events, the bicentenary of the Order of St Michael and St George. He is an art collector and a lover of opera, ballet and classical music. He has often been interviewed by BBC4, the Evening Standard andthe Corfu TV channels.

The Corfu Heritage Foundation was founded on 6 April 2000, and the first founding members were Count Spiro Flamburiari, Chairman of the Foundation, Mr Pericles Lascaris, architect, and Mr Yannis Petsalis, historian and art collector. The objects of the Foundation are: 1) to promote British-Hellenic relations; 2) to restore the buildings in the island deemed by the trustees to be of historical importance; 3) to preserve historical monuments and the grand old estates; 4) to support the objects and endeavours of the Corfu Reading Society; 5) to support the Brass Bands of Corfu; 6) to establish and erect the Corfu Heritage Plaques concerning personalities and buildings of historical significance; 7) to curate permanent or temporary exhibitions of art; 8) to promote musical and artistic events; 9) to promote the game of Cricket; and 10) to carry out publications of all kind relevant to the Foundation.

 

  • Lecture entitled “Romanticism – A Brief Introduction” by Mr Derek Johns at the Corfu Reading Society, 3 August 2018.

 

Derek Johns (b. 1946) became a Director of Sotheby´s in 1968 and was subsequently appointed Head of the Old Master Paintings department by 1974. In 1981 he became an independent art dealer in partnership with Philip Harari at 12 Duke Street, St James’s. He established his own gallery, Derek Johns Ltd in 1996 and remained at the same Duke Street address until 2016 when he moved to the current premises in Bury Street. He has expertise in all major European schools of art from the 13th to the 18th centuries. He came across Edward Lear at the age of about 5 with his nonsense rhymes. Later, he fell in love with the island of Corfu, which he made his home and began to collect Lear’s drawings and paintings of the Ionian period alongside all things Corfiot.

 

  • Talk entitled “British-Hellenic Friendship in Corfu” by HE Ms Kate Smith CMG at the Corfu Reading Society, 6 August 2018.

 

HE Ms Kate Smith CMG is a British diplomat currently serving as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic. She joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1987, and took up her first diplomatic post overseas in Athens in 1991, serving as Second Secretary Political and Press Attaché. She returned to London in 1994 to the Non-Proliferation Department focusing on Chemical and Biological Weapons. Later she served at the UN in New York at the Security Council and in a number of roles relating to Defence and Security issues, including the aftermath of the 2003 war in Iraq. She became Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Tehran in 2005-2007 and was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours for 2008. On return from Tehran, she was seconded to Royal Dutch Shell where she served as international adviser from 2008, and then head of UK governmental relations in 2009-2012. She returned to the FCO as Director Americas in 2012-2016. In 2017 she succeeded John Kittmer as Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic.

 

  • Lecture entitled “Music in 1818” by Ms Helena Matheopoulos, at the Corfu Reading Society, 24 August 2018.

 

Author, journalist, public speaker, Helena Matheopoulos was born in Athens and lives in London. She graduated from University College London with BA Honours and MA Degree in Medieval History. She worked as Fashion & Travel Editor for the Tatler magazine and the Daily Express newspaper, and as regular contributor to The Times, The Sunday Times, Gramophone, Opera Now, Greek Vogue and Kathimerini. Her seven books on music and opera include Maestro (1982), Bravo (1986), Diva (1991), Diva: The New Generation (1998), Placido Domingo: My Roles on Stage (2000), and Fashion Designers at the Opera (2009). She was Artistic Advisor of the Athens Megaron (1991-1995) and Special Consultant for Vocal Projects at the Philharmonia Orchestra, London (1996-2004). She now lectures worldwide on subjects related to her books.

 

  • Lecture entitled “The Order of St Michael and St George” by Sir Efthimios E. Mitropoulos KCMG, at the Corfu Reading Society, 28 August 2018.

 

Efthimios E. Mitropoulos KCMG (b. 1939) – Secretary-General Emeritus of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) following an eight-year (2004-2012) tenure. Chancellor Emeritus of the World Maritime University (WMU), situated in Malmö, Sweden. Chairman Emeritus of the International Maritime Law Institute (IMLI), situated in Malta. Retired Rear-Admiral of the Hellenic Coast Guard. Chairman of the Board of the Public Benefit Foundation “Maria Tsakos”, situated in Chios, Greece. Patron of the International Maritime Rescue Federation. Member of the Board of Tsakos Energy Navigation plc (TEN). Author of several books on shipping matters. He has been honoured by many governments, universities and international organizations. Honorary citizen of Galaxidi and Malmö.

 

  • Lecture entitled “Edward Lear – Artist ∙ Poet ∙ Wanderer” by Mr Nicholas Parsons CBE, at the Corfu Reading Society, 4 September 2018 .

 

Nicholas Parsons CBE (b. 1923) is a British radio and television presenter and theatre actor. His long career in the entertainment industry has made him a household name. Best known today for his long-standing position as host of the radio game show Just a Minute, he is also famous as the long-term host of the TV game show Sale of the Century. He does charitable work for the Lord’s Taverners youth sports charity as President and the Edward Lear Society as Patron. He was Rector of St Andrews University and was honoured with an LLD for his work. In 2004 he was awarded an OBE for his services to drama and broadcasting and in 2013 he was honoured with a CBE for his charitable and other work.

 

 

– Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Esplanade’s Band Stand, 5 August 2018.

 

– Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Old Fortress, 7 September 2018.

 

Robert Christoforides (b. 1942) is a British solicitor. He completed his education at Westminster School and the Law Society’s College of Law, and was admitted in his profession in 1965. Throughout his life, his most long-standing interest has been music, which he considers to be the most esoteric of the Arts. It was Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem (1961) that gave him the impetus to write a monumental biographical novel, The Silver Swan – The Life and Times of Wilfred Owen (2016), who was one of the greatest poets of the First World War. Seeming to him that the generally accepted final text of Owen’s Strange Meeting was somehow incomplete in its conclusion, his researches of a quarter of a century have proved this to be the case. This book and other aspects of Owen’s poetry are available on Amazon Kindle.

 

  • Exhibitions curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos.

 

– “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Historical Perspective, at the Ionian Academy, 7 – 29 July 2018.

 

“Romanticism in Corfu”, at the Ionian Academy, 2 – 26 August 2018.

 

– “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Contemporary Perspective, at the Ionian Academy,   1 – 29 September 2018.

 

Megakles Rogakos (b. 1972) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art History from The American College of Greece, Athens (1997); a Master’s degree in Arts Policy & Management from the City University, London (1998); another Master’s degree in Art History and Theory from Goldsmiths College, London (1999); and a PhD in Philosophy and History of Art at the University of Essex, Colchester (2017). In 2000-2004 he worked as an information officer at the Tate Gallery, conducted scholarly research and curated a series of multimedia exhibitions, in London and abroad, featuring international contemporary artists. In 2004-2012 he held an appointment as ACG Art Curator at the American College of Greece. Since 2012, he works as an independent curator. He also publishes reviews of exceptional art exhibitions mainly at www.elculture.gr, but also at www.visuelimage.com

 

Ioannis N. Arhontakis (b. 1969) initially studied Physics and Journalism and later History of Art. He worked as a producer on the radio and later as a columnist in specialised magazines. He initiated the creation of the cultural institution Olivepress – Art Factory at Dromonero, Chania, and since 2008 is the Director of the Contemporary Art Museum of Chania – Olivepress. Since 2010 he has been the artistic director of the CHANIaRT visual festival, which is mainly active in Crete. He has curated a great number of visual art exhibitions and has organised even more. From 2016 he co-organises the actions of the Match More Art Gallery in Platanias, Chania. He lives and creates in Chania and Athens.

 

Georgia Damianou (b. 1991) holds a degree in Visual and Applied Arts from the School of Fine Arts, University of Western Macedonia, focused in painting. In 2016 she completed the MA program “Museology and Cultural Management” at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. As an artist, she has participated in numerous group exhibitions and workshops, both in Greece and abroad. She is a member of the “Long Vehicle” platform, which co-ordinates and presents artistic projects. She is involved in curating exhibitions and writing texts, as well as working as an art teacher in public education.

 

Georgia Kourkounaki (b. 1982) is a Phd Candidate in Art History at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and holds a Master’s degree in Museology and Cultural Management from the aformentioned University and the University of Western Macedonia (2008). In 2005-2007 she collaborated with the Teloglion Foundation of Art on conducting educational programs. In 2008-2015 she worked as a museologist at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art. Since 2016, she works as a museologist at the Olympic Museum. Since 2004, she has collaborated with the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, galleries, art festivals and the public sector for the coordination and curating of art exhibitions.

 

Constantinos V. Proimos (b. 1968) holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Panteion University (1989) and an MΑ as well as a PhD in the aesthetics and philosophy of the visual arts from the New School for Social Research, NY, USA (2001) with a Hellenic State Scholarship. He also studied art history at Columbia University in New York (1990-1993), at the E.H.E.S.S. and Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne in Paris (1995-1997). He worked at the Guggenheim Museum of New York (1991-1992) and at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1992-1993). He earned a postdoctoral fellowship from the Hellenic State Scholarship Foundation (2003-2004) and has taught at Reid Hall in Paris, at the University of Crete, the University of Cyprus and the Technical University of Crete. He has published a book and numerous research articles. Since 2006 he has been working in the Hellenic Open University and is an Exhibition Curator and Art Critic.

 

 

Auspices:
British Embassy Athens

 

Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Culture & Sports

 

Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Tourism

 

Municipality of Corfu

 

Support:
Ionian University

 

Corfu Reading Society

 

Mantzaros Philharmonic Society

 

Cricket Corfu

 

Sponsorship:
Rothschild Foundation

 

Aegeas N.P.C.

 

Fourlis Group

 

www.thethink.co.uk

 

CV Villas

 

Cavalieri Hotel

 

MarBella Corfu

 

MarBella Nido

 

Corfu Country Club

 

Aegean Airlines

 

Communication  Sponsorship:

 

Kathimerini

 

Corfu TV

 

Start TV

 

Kerkyra Publications

 

Economia

 

Corfu Tourist

Romanticism in Corfu

“Romanticism in Corfu” curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos at the Ionian University, Corfu, 2 – 26 August 2018. Eventbrite

Romanticism in Corfu

CORFU.- As it is well known, George IV, when he was Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, founded the Order of St Michael and St George in Corfu and in Malta on 28 April 1818, two hundred years ago. This forms part of Corfu’s history and belongs to its heritage. To celebrate the Order’s bicentenary, the Corfu Heritage Foundation is organising the Corfu Festival 2018, which is to include a series of cultural events encompassing literature, music, visual arts and sports.

This Festival is taking place under the auspices of the British Embassy, Athens, the Hellenic Republic’s Ministries of Culture and Tourism, and the Municipality of Corfu, between 7 July and 30 September 2018.

The painting exhibition “Romanticism in Corfu”, curated by Megakles Rogakos, includes 28 works, covering the period 1820-1920, never before shown together on Corfu. The earliest works are eight by Joseph Cartwright (England, 1789-1829), who served in the British Navy as a civilian artist, from his “Views in the Ionian Islands” album, published in 1821. Other works are by John Skene (England, 1780-1855), William Page (England, 1794-1872), John-Connell Ogle (Scotland, 1801-1870), George Pechell-Sands (England, 1810-1895), Thomas-Miles Richardson (England, 1813-1890), John Fulleylove (England, 1847-1908) and Sir William Herries (England, 1859-1923). The Schranz father and son – Anton (Germany, 1769-1839) and Joseph (Germany, 1803-1853) – are represented by two works each from the two periods of their visit to Corfu, 1826 and 1840. Included are three works by Edward Lear (England, 1812-1888), a famous writer and painter, who taught painting to Queen Victoria. Female painters are represented by Mrs. D. Payne Galliwell (England, 1860-1910) and Sarah Markham (England, 1865-1915). Herman Melville (USA, 1819-1891), author of Moby Dick(1851), is represented by one work. Tristram Ellis (England, 1844-1922), known for depicting the Eastern Mediterranean, is represented by two works. Two Corfiot prominent water-colourists – Angelos Giallina (Greece, 1857-1939) and Spyridon Scarvelli (Greece, 1868-1942) are also represented in the exhibition. All of these works offer a representative romantic picture of the then urban life and landscape scenery in Corfu.

Mr Derek Johns writes in his introduction: “Romanticism was characterised by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval and the exotic rather than the classical.”

Dr Rogakos writes in his essay: “Romanticism seems endemic on Corfu, an island enshrouded in a veil of legend and mystery. Its unique ancient history is transformed in post-mythological times with the island’s natural attributes and built monuments with which it is blessed – Archaic temples, Byzantine churches, medieval castles, Venetian mansions, and neoclassical palaces.”

The romantic quality is evoked in the paintings focusing primarily on two collections from London. One collection is formed by the Corfu-born Count Spiro Flamburiari, who exemplarily cares for the history and heritage of the island. The other originates with the English born Derek Johns, former partner in Sotheby’s London, who adores the island and made it his home. So, by their mutual love for Corfu, this exhibition celebrates British-Hellenic relations at their best.

The “Romanticism in Corfu” exhibition will be presented at the Ionian University, Corfu, in 2 – 26 August 2018. Mr Johns will present his related lecture at the Corfu Reading Society at 7.30pm on Friday, 3 August 2018.

Accompanying Catalogue: A fully-illustrated 130-page catalogue, including the “Introduction to Romanticism” by Mr Johns and Dr Rogakos’ essay for the “Romanticism in Corfu” exhibition, is published by the Corfu Heritage Foundation (ISBN: 978-618-83770-0-4).

Public Information

Exhibition:“Romanticism in Corfu” curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos

Opening: 8pm, Thursday, 2 August 2018

Duration: 2 – 26 August 2018

Venue: Ionian University, 1 Kapodistriou & Akadimias Street, 49100 Corfu, Greece

www.ionio.gr/en/prospective/university-history

Opening Hours: 8.30am – 9pm daily, except Sunday

Communication: Mrs Ioanna Anemogianni, +30 26610 87202, secretariat@ionio.gr

Visuals: https://www.corfuheritagefoundation.org/romanticism-in-corfu/

Free Tickets: Eventbrite

Lecture: “Introduction to Romanticism” by Mr Derek Johns

Day and Time: 7.30pm, Friday, 3 August 2018

Corfu Reading Society: Mrs Xenia Balbi, 120 Kapodistriou Street, 49100 Corfu, Greece, +30 26610 39528, anagnostikicorfu@gmail.com, www.anagnostiki-etairia-kerkyras.eu

“Romanticism in Corfu”
By Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD

Romanticism is the label given to the movement in the arts and literature that originated in the late 18th century, emphasising inspiration, subjectivity, and the primacy of the individual. It was a reaction against the order and restraint of classicism and neoclassicism, and a rejection of the rationalism that characterised the Enlightenment. It can further be taken as a haven for the appearing fault-lines in art from modernism onwards. The romantic envisages the unattainable, beyond the limits of rationality. The romantic view becomes poetry. It enhances the meaning of spiritual and emotional qualities. It expands poetic awareness beyond the pictorial framework. It concerns the sentimental sphere, the dream world, the fantasy of inspiration.

Romanticism may well apply on Corfu, an island enshrouded in a veil of legend and mystery. Thucydides, father of scientific history, identifies the Homeric Phaeacia as Corfu. Homer speaks of the Phaeacians as an extraordinary people, possessing ships steered by thought and swifter than falcons, having robotic dogs constructed by Hephaestus guard their palace, and as tending fruit-bearing trees that grow year-round. So, in mythology, Corfu is an island like no other. Corfu is likely to be the island of salvation where Prospero and Miranda escape in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest (1611). Such uniqueness is transformed in post-mythological times. There are its natural attributes – immense groves of olive trees with the cypresses, hills thickly covered with pine trees, the calm environment of lake and lagoon, rocky coastal areas, as well as silver sand beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters; and the views of the Straits, breath-taking with the mainland mountains in the distance across the narrow waters. Then again, there are amazing built monuments with which the Island is blessed – Archaic temples, Byzantine churches, medieval castles, Venetian mansions, and neoclassical palaces.

Visiting Corfu first in 1848, Edward Lear was immediately entranced by it, acknowledging in a letter to his sister, “it really is a Paradise”. Such characterisation of Corfu laconically sums up the romantic scope in that region of the world – the paradisiacal with overpowering phenomena, sublime beauty and numinous power. The romantic quality of Corfu is evoked in the paintings, from two London collections. One collection was formed by the Corfu-born Count Spiro Flamburiari, who for years has been involved in caring for the history and heritage of the island. The other originates with the English-born Derek Johns, former partner in Sotheby’s London, who adores the island and made it his home. So, by their mutual love for Corfu, like Lear’s, this exhibition celebrates Anglo-Corfiot relations at their best.

Works in the “Romanticism in Corfu” Exhibition

[The dimensions are given in centimetres – height before width]

Joseph Cartwright - View of Kanoni from Lake Chalikiopoulou

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1785-1829). View of Kanoni from Lake Chalikiopoulou, c. 1820. Watercolour on paper, 28 x 49. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Joseph Cartwright - View of the Esplanade with the Maitland Memorial

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1785-1829). View of the Esplanade with the Maitland Memorial, c. 1820. Watercolour on paper, 19 x 28. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Joseph Cartwright - View of the Esplanade from the Giallina House

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1785-1829). View of the Esplanade from the Giallina House, c. 1820. Watercolour on paper, 19 x 28. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Joseph Cartwright - View of the Old Fortress from the Hill of the Analipsis

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1789-1829). View of the Old Fortress from the Hill of the Analipsis, 1821. Ink and aquatint on paper, 38 x 60. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Joseph Cartwright - View of Pontikonisi, Corfu

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1789-1829). View of Pontikonisi, Corfu, 1821. Ink and aquatint on paper, 38 x 60. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Joseph Cartwright - Procession of Saint Spyridon, Corfu

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1789-1829). Procession of Saint Spyridon, Corfu, 1821. Ink and aquatint on paper, 38 x 60. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Joseph Cartwright - View of the Corfu Town from Vido

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1789-1829). View of the Corfu Town from Vido, 1821. Ink and aquatint on paper, 38 x 60. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Joseph Cartwright - The Rotunda at the Upper Esplanade, Corfu

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1789-1829). The Rotunda at the Upper Esplanade, Corfu, c. 1825. Watercolour on paper, 30 x 55. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

John Skene - View of the Old Fortress from Vido

John Skene (England, 1780-1855). View of the Old Fortress from Vido, 1838. Watercolour on paper, 16 x 42. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Anton Schranz

Anton Schranz (Germany, 1769-1839). View of the Old Fortress and Vido from Kontokali, 1826. Gouache on paper, 28 x 42. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Joseph Schranz - Vlacherna and Pontikonisi, Corfu

Joseph Schranz (Germany, 1803-1853). Vlacherna and Pontikonisi, Corfu, 1840. Watercolour on paper, 21 x 29. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Anton Schranz - View of the Old Fortress, Corfu

Joseph Schranz (Germany, 1803-1853). View of the Old Fortress, Corfu, 1840. Watercolour on paper, 16 x 27. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

William Page - View of Albanian Mountains from Kassiopi

William Page (England, 1794-1872). View of Albanian Mountains from Kassiopi, c. 1821. Watercolour paper, 34 x 44. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Edward Lear - View of the Albanian Mountains from Sfakera

Edward Lear (England, 1812-1888). View of the Albanian Mountains from Sfakera, 23 June 1857. Ink and watercolour on paper, 20 x 31. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Edward Lear - View to the North from the Ascension Village

Edward Lear (England, 1812-1888). View to the North from the Ascension Village, 1863. Black and white lithograph on paper, 30 x 42. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Edward Lear - Mount San Salvador (Pantokrator) from the South

Edward Lear (England, 1812-1888). Mount San Salvador (Pantokrator) from the South, 1863. Coloured lithograph on paper, 28 x 38. Courtesy of Derek Johns, London.

John-Connell Ogle - View of Avlaki from Kassiopi Castle

John Connell Ogle (Scotland, 1801-1870). View of Avlaki from Kassiopi Castle, 1849. Watercolour on paper, 25 x 47. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

George Pechell-Sands - Fanciful view οf the Old Fortress from the Sea

George Pechell-Sands (England, 1810-1895). Fanciful view οf the Old Fortress from the Sea, c. 1860. Watercolour on paper, 14 x 23. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

John Fulleylove - View of the Old Fortress from the New Fortress Bell Tower

John Fulleylove (England, 1847-1908). View of the Old Fortress from the New Fortress Bell Tower, c. 1865. Watercolour on paper, 17 x 24. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Thomas-Miles Richardson - View of the Old Fortress from Garitsa Bay

Thomas-Miles Richardson (England, 1813-1890). View of the Old Fortress from Garitsa Bay, 1872. Watercolour, 22 x 28. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Herman Melville - View of the Old Fortress from the Palace of Mon Repos

Herman Melville (USA, 1819-1891). View of the Old Fortress from the Palace of Mon Repos, 1879. Watercolour on paper, 11 x 30. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Angelos Giallina - View of the Achilleon from Agioi Deka

Angelos Giallina (Greece, 1857-1939). View of the Achilleon from Agioi Deka, 1885. Watercolour on paper, 21 x 51. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Mrs D. Payne Galliwell - View of Old Fortress from the Palace of Mon Repos

Mrs D. Payne Galliwell (England, c. 1860-1910). View of Old Fortress from the Palace of Mon Repos, c. 1890. Watercolour on paper, 28 x 37. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Tristram Ellis - View of the Old Fortress from the Ascension Village

Tristram Ellis (England, 1844-1922). View of the Old Fortress from the Ascension Village, 1905. Watercolour on paper, 23 x 33. Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Tristram Ellis - View of the Old Fortress and Mouragia from the Sea

Tristram Ellis (England, 1844-1922). View of the Old Fortress and Mouragia from the Sea, 1909. Watercolour on paper, 23 x 33. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Sarah Markham - View of the Old Fortress from Paleopolis

Sarah Markham (England, 1865-1915). View of the Old Fortress from Paleopolis, c. 1900. Watercolour on paper, 23 x 33). Courtesy of Derek Johns Family Trust, London.

Spyridon Scarvelli - Vlacherna and Pontikonisi, Corfu

Spyridon Scarvelli (Greece, 1868-1942). Vlacherna and Pontikonisi, Corfu, c. 1900. Watercolour on paper, 29 x 47. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Spyridon Scarvelli - Kontokali Bay, Corfu

Spyridon Scarvelli (Greece, 1868-1942). Kontokali Bay, Corfu, c. 1920. Watercolour on paper, 26 x 47. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari, London.

Public Information

“Romanticism in Corfu”
Curated by Megakles Rogakos

Opening: 8pm, Thursday, 2 August 2018
Duration: 2 – 26 August 2018
Venue: Ionian Academy, 1 Kapodistriou & Akadimias Street, 49100 Corfu, Greece
www.ionio.gr/en/prospective/university-history
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 9pm daily, except Sunday
Communication: Mrs Dionysia Karvouni, +30 26610 87129, int_rel@ionio.gr
Visuals: www.corfuheritagefoundation.org/prossalendis-britannia-contemporary/
Reservation: Eventbrite

Contemporary Perspective

“Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Contemporary Perspective
Ionian Academy, Corfu, 1 – 29 September 2018 – Eventbrite

"Prossalendi's Britannia" Contemporary Perspective

CORFU.- As it is well known, George IV, when he was Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, founded the Order of St Michael and St George in Corfu and in Malta on 28 April 1818, two hundred years ago. This forms part of Corfu’s history and belongs to its heritage. To celebrate the Order’s bicentenary, the Corfu Heritage Foundation is organising the Corfu Festival 2018, which is to include a series of cultural events encompassing literature, music, visual arts and sports.

This Festival is taking place under the auspices of the British Embassy, Athens, the Hellenic Republic’s Ministries of Culture and Tourism, and the Municipality of Corfu, between 7 July and 30 September 2018.

The “Prossalendi’s Britannia” is organised in two separate perspectives. The Historical Perspective, which was presented in the past, concerned the sculptural group that was designed by Paolo Prossalendi (1784-1837) and crowned the façade of the Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu during the period 1823-1864. The Contemporary Perspective is supervised by Dr Megakles Rogakos and curated by four Research Associates – Mr Ioannis N. Arhontakis, Ms Georgia Damianou, Ms Georgia Kourkounaki and Dr Constantinos V. Proimos. The Curators have commissioned distinguished contemporary artists – Greek and foreign with respect to gender – to recreate their own version of Prossalendi’s Britannia through their personal visual idiom and vocabulary. So, the Contemporary Perspective features 32 works by an equivalent number of artists – Emmanouil Bitsakis, Lamprini Boviatsou, Thodoros Brouskomatis, Ricardo Cinalli, Dimosthenis Gallis, Milly Flamburiari, Nikos Giavropoulos, Ken Howard, Marion Inglessi, Yanna Kali, Stella Kapezanou, Aris Katsilakis, Alexandros Maganiotis, Georgia Matsamaki, Dimitris Merantzas, Alkistis Michaelidou, Nicholas Moore, Konstantinos Pardalis, K. N. Patsios, Aglaia Perraki, Artemis Potamianou, Natassa Poulantza, Irene Pouliassi, Vagelis Robolas, Margot Roulleau-Gallais, Dimitris Skourogiannis, Anna-Maria Smyrnaki, Aris Stoidis, Shubha Taparia, Yorgos Taxiarchopoulos, Olga Tobreluts and Amikam Toren.

Finally, Professors Harris Kondosphyris, School of Fine Arts of the University of Western Macedonia in Florina, and Panagiotis Kyratsis, Technological Educational Institute of Western Macedonia in Kozani, with their students will present a new sculpture, relating to Prossalendi’s Britannia, to be submitted to the Central Archaeological Council with the prospect of it being displayed either temporarily or permanently in the place of the missing sculpture on the Palace’s façade.

The Contemporary Perspective of the “Prossalendi’s Britannia” exhibition will be presented at the Ionian University, Corfu, in the period 1 – 29 September 2018. Eventbrite

“Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Contemporary Perspective

The exhibition is supervised by Megakles Rogakos (MR) and curated by Ioannis N. Arhontakis (IK), Georgia Damianou (GD), Georgia Kourkounaki (GK) and Constantinos V. Proimos (CP).

[The dimensions are given in centimetres – height before width before depth]

Emmnouil Bitsakis

Emmanouil Bitsakis (Greece, b. 1974). Good and Bad Government, 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25.

The title of the work by Emmanouil Bitsakis refers as a political commentary to The Allegory of Good and Bad Government fresco of Ambrogio Lorenzetti (1290-1348) that is located in Palazzo Pubblico, Siena, but without the slightest pictorial reference to the famous work. Contrary to Lorenzetti, the artist organises his painting’s composition as a post-surrealist iconographic collage with Britannia appearing in profile, following the design of corresponding coins, middle-aged and tired, gesturing strangely, as a patriotic traffic controller, bound by in his daily task of achieving good government at home and overseas. The tunic on loan from Pallas Athena has been removed and Britannia appears in her lace underwear without any trace of provocation but only with reference to her delicate bourgeois origin and her present poverty. Scattered fragments of marble relief link the artist’s composition to the sculptural origins of Prossalendi and define the indirect reference of British art to its Roman origin. And in the background the sea, the landscape of the glorious domination of two centuries of the British Empire, which identifies the insularity of British soil and hints at the central political British pattern with a prow in the form of a crowned bird giving at the same time the ‘official’ measure of the old mighty glory, which was undoubtedly achieved due to Good Government, and which was fatally flawed due to Bad Government. IA

Lamprini Boviatsou

Lamprini Boviatsou (Greece, b. 1975). Can you live without your shield?, 2018. Graphite and coloured pencils οn wood and oil οn steel, 120 x 65 x 5.

Lamprini Boviatsou’s work, Can you live without your shield?, is a special self-portrait portraying the essence of Britannia and Pallas Athena with all the intimate thoughts of the painter being transported from the collective level to the ultimate personal experience. Britannia-Athena-Lamprini is standing opposite the viewer with bulging eyes, full of questions about everything that is happening around her, in a world that is changing, defending and redefining itself. She wears a classic Greek chiton whose rich folds partially conceal the façade of a neoclassical mansion with a dark gallery, at whose top the inscription BREXIT flashes temptingly. A frightened owl in the form of consciousness springs from within the ancient Greek helmet holding a burning message on a scroll. And all these things happen behind the metal shield, embellished with the personalised cartographic image of the British Isles. The artist’s successive allegories pose fundamental questions about the course of the British Empire from its world domination to the inward choice of leaving the European community. They confirm the rapid global change of the situation, sweeping away the private path, initiative, independence, even the existence of citizens, who as weak elements accept the collateral losses of the overwhelming changes. Weak to react to the storm of developments they turn into mere observers of the new situation with open eyes. What defensive mechanism, which shield could defend the personal and private rights of every citizen? How does one, as a citizen of a global commonwealth, become a citizen of an isolated island country? Each personal question has a separate answer, every separate glance of the viewer on the shield also gives a distinct refractive image of personal solution to the collective problem of private defence. At the edge of the shield, the small figure of Prossalendi is seen to be sceptical… IA

Thodoros Brouskomatis

Thodoros Brouskomatis (Greece, b. 1963). sa(i)l(e)s, 2018. Digital print on photographic paper, 50 x 60.

The artistic language of Thodoros Brouskomatis, touching the boundaries of kitsch and pop art, creates a dreamy landscape that recalls the collages of Dadaists and works of surrealists. With the technique of photocollage, the artist presents a timeless cultural setting, paying tribute to the Ionian Sea, the place where for centuries the history of the East and the West meets. Cultural elements that represent different cultures and geographies are part of the waves of the sea that have been loved as much by Prossalendi as by the people found in it. The composition describes a utopia of bliss, emerging from the subconscious and the dream, citing the absurd. Works of art of past centuries have not only acquired life, but are given will and reason. The cultural capital of the place is found in the present time, having acquired the aspect of pop idols starring, as an attractive poster, with slogans to scatter a protest. The protagonists of the artist revolt and cause us to observe them outside their frame, isolated from the images of art history books and tourist guides. They claim their place as works of art, as creations that belong to the same place, as autonomous beings born of the artist’s will. GK

Ricardo Cinalli

Ricardo Cinalli (Argentina, b. 1948). The Owl and the Crow, 2018. Mixed media: oil on paper mounted on canvas and diamonds, 245 x 110.

Ricardo Cinalli presents Pallas Athena as her ancestor and patroness of Prossalendi’s Britannia. Here the goddess is inspired by the larger-than-life statue kept in the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus. On her head she wears raised her Corinthian helmet, which is decorated with owls on the cheekpieces. On her body she wears a long cloak and her aegis, wreathed with snakes from the head of Medusa, passes diagonally across her chest. In her right hand she holds an olive branch on which rests her dedicated bird, the owl. This is a bird of prey with a special vision that allows it to hunt in the darkness of the night. With her left hand she supports a pole from which the British flag hangs. The end of the flag is held in the beak of a crow, which in the artist’s view symbolises Britain. Tending to collect whatever shiny thing captures its attention, this feature could perhaps refer to Britain’s imperialist past. The perception of the composition is theatrical with the Ionian Sea as background. Athena is rising on a circular platform that refers to Corfu, while her flagpole invades the circular opening on the roof, in the form of Selene, from which the light comes. The darkness of the nocturnal landscape contrasts withthe scattered diamond stars and the halo of the chaste goddess. MR

Milly Flamburiari

Milly Flamburiari (England). Britannia in Corfu, 2018. Oil and ink on board (96×96).

Being British with a touch of Hellenic ancestry, Milly Flamburiari takes the subject of Britannia as an opportunity to look at her Classical roots. With the imagination that characterises her work, Milly gives Britannia the looks af an ancient Greek goddess, dressed in a white chiton wearing a Corinthian helmet and supporting Poseidon’s trident and her shield decorated with the Union Jack. She is centrally seated on a cluster of canon balls over the three zones of waves in successive styles ranging from abstraction to naturalism – stylised monochrome waves evocative of the seabed, the sea proper peopled by polychrome fish, and as seaway surface for a pair of frigates. With her Britannia, the painter sets out to make certain points, which embody her emblem’s spirit. As the sun rises from the composition’s centre, its rays gather strength and grow bigger and brighter. This symbolises Britannia, the embodiment of Great Britain’s ever-growing influence, casting its rays like the sun, far and wide around the world. With her dominant naval forces, Britannia conquers the seas, while at the same time she has an inscrutable smile on her face and holds a sprig of olive, signifying humanity’s aspiration for peace. This painting is envisaged as two separate worlds – the upper portion of the work with its strong red white and blue colourway of the Union Jack; and the lower portion, the forceful blue and white of the Greek flag. Thus united, the two nations meet to celebrate this historic happening. This painting serves well its purpose of offering viewers a feast to their eyes. MR

Dimosthenis Gallis

Dimosthenis Gallis (Greece, b. 1967). Exit, 2018. Giclée print on photographic paper, 50 x 50.

Wearing the white suit of Pallas Athena, designed by Dionysis Fotopoulos, Britannia rests exhausted on the back of the Lion who stands staring at us, with disarming shyness and wonder, in a space reserved for disabled people in a rather forgotten and wet car park. In the “Exit” photographic work Dimosthenis Gallis sets up with actors and theatrical props a scene of historical utopia with excellent attention to plausibility. His technique allows him to harness every Lion and prescribe every truth. Britannia in his hands disputes her own identity and avoids looking at us as if she has lost faith in herself, presenting her difficulty in adapting to the new circumstances of our time, adhering to the memory of her golden past. The loneliness of the space seems to suit her escalating introversion. Although on the wall there is the word “EXIT”, with an indirect reference to the recent Brexit referendum, the claustrophobic feeling that characterises the whole scene hints at exactly the opposite. The irony is obvious: the way to the exit, given the decision that British citizens finally made, is in reality a deadlock. Emphasising the challenge, the photographer places Britannia’s trunk in front of the “X”, deleting and totally cancelling its essence and indicating that the decision is disastrous. By contrast to the visual allegories and the messages of the artist, the composition is governed by volumetric robustness and sculptural clarity, making direct references to the artistic spirit of Prossalendi as a top neoclassical sculptor of the 19thcentury; the photographer gently respects his principles and teachings and introduces them methodically into his work. IA

Nikos Giavropoulos

Nikos Giavropoulos (Greece, b. 1971). Britannia, 2018. Plexiglas, resin, acrylics and spray on wood, 70 x 100 x 3.

Nikos Giavropoulos exhibits the Union Jack along with Athena’s head and the most typical medieval Gothic knocker of a lion head. These two emblems of Athens and the United Kingdom are spread over its flag. The flag itself stands for unity, Athena for wisdom and the lion for power. Yet, one does not fail to observe that the heads as well as the knockers are spread over the Union Jack and are made from resin. Furthermore, chromatically the heads range from white to red, while the knockers from light to dark blue hues. The Union Jack itself is not presented in its original colours but in an almost monochromatic approximation of them; it seems more an appropriation of the flag than the flag itself and is thus reminiscent of Jasper Johns’s 1954 American Flag that gave the critics the dilemma whether his painting was a flag or a painting of a flag. The way the emblems are set up, their material and colours give the viewer the impression that Giavropoulos employs the national emblems for what they are and how they have been appropriated by popular culture, fashion and consumerism, thus creating a dilemma for his viewers analogous to Johns’: are these emblems real or are they parodied copies of themselves, as in the case of the Sex Pistols? CP

Ken Howard

Ken Howard (England, b. 1932). Prossalendi’s Britannia, 2018. Oil on canvas, 120 x 100.

Ken Howard is offering us his own version of Prossalendi’s Britannia, bearing the same title, with the outstanding painting quality that characterises his work. The high level of his drawing, his tonal precision, combined with historical referencing, combine to make a work of great importance. The feminine depiction of Britannia, as a dynamic ruler of the sea, is explored in terms of its evolution through time. The artist chose to use as a reference a classic representation from a chromolithographic advertisement for the “British Isles March” published by John Blockley of Argyll Street, London. Morphologically, the composition has been reversed in order to restore the elements of the work – Britannia’s figure, trident, shield and sailboat in the background – as they were according to the lost sculpture which adorned the palace of St Michael and St George. The work also notes the connection between the form of Britain and the way that ancient Greeks had chosen to symbolise wisdom and power, in the face of the female goddess Athena. The second reference of the work lies in the representation of the seated lion, which is based on the celebrated monument of Pope Clement XIII, located in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. This monument was created by Antonio Canova, the most prominent sculptor of neoclassicism and also Prossalendi’s teacher. The artist’s British descent is what helps him capture the importance of tradition, ideas and values for the people of his country. Through the combination of these two historical sources, the artist pays homage to the exhibition’s theme. He succeeds in indicating the weight of Britain’s history, and through his work’s symbolism, he means to celebrate the cultural exchange between the British and Greek nations. GD

Marion Inglessi

Marion Inglessi (Greece, b. 1961). Disambiguation, 2018. Acrylic on paper mounted on plywood, 30 x 82.

In her work Disambiguation, Marion Inglessi makes a contemporary political and social commentary with references to the age of Imperial Britain and its artistic production emerging from the Industrial Revolution and the economic development resulting from its colonies and possessions. At the same time, using all of the distinguishing elements of a typically British sophisticated technique of representation for urban use, the artist organises a flow of three unconventional sequential images that are in direct contrast to the urban culture representative of this technique. The work develops as a triptych in a neoclassical frieze that deliberately imitates the impression of British Wedgwood porcelain, and especially the Jasperware type in particular, which was created to look like ancient cameo glass. The version that the artist consciously reproduces is referred to as Wedgwood Blue and has white figures and floral decorations in relief that she carries in her work as repetitive decorative motifs running along the top and bottom as well as trees separating the three scenes. The entire composition alludes to the still-frames of the cinematographic perforated film. The seemingly idyllic picture of glory of the first still of the ancient Greek-inspired Britannia with the mighty lion under her tender gaze, is succeeded by a picture of the lion’s sudden attack on the terrified Britannia, and ends in the last still with the lion in repose and the total absence of Britannia. The artist refers in her work both to the uneasy coexistence of the British Empire and its various colonies, protectorates and possessions—the Ionian Islands included — as well as to the traces of the memory we retain today of the imperialist sovereign power represented by the lingering lion of the third still and the totally absent Britannia of glamour, renown, and glory. IA

Yanna Kali

Yanna Kali (Greece, b. 1981). Through Prossalendi’s Gaze, 2018. Coloured pencils on paper, 35 x 50.

Yanna Kali puts the focus of her search on the personality of Prossalendi himself, as it was formed between the two countries, Greece and Britain. His thought and action as an authentic pioneering artist in his heyday are revealed by the symbolic gaze, which we are called to face. The cultural link between Greece and Britain, which drew the catalytic sculptural group of Pallas Britannia from the iconography of the previous epochs, focuses on the depiction of the bridge at the centre of the waving flag of Britain. The cross of the flag has admitted a hole that leads the spectator’s gaze to the endless shore, one step closer to the white-blue landscape, implying the Greek flag. With simple illustrative means and with the characteristic element of the binary and the doubt posed by her works, the artist invites the viewer to clarify where on the opposite bank does s/he stands. Does the flag of Britain mark the “here” and “now” or does it announce the “there” and “then”? The decision is a personal matter for the viewer, who is asked to investigate for the thought of Prossalendi in time and to wander between the two identities, which in such an elaborate way became one in his consciousness. GK

Stella Kapezanou

Stella Kapezanou (Greece, b. 1977). Brittany’s Back Yard, 2018. Oil on linen, 210 x 180.

The work of Stella Kapezanou presents the elements of a pure and unapologetic painting. Responding to Prossalendi’s Britannia she renders a contemporary version of her, in which the symbolisms of the past have turned into modern depictions. As the title of the work implies, we find ourselves in Brittany’s back yard. Witnessing a rather private moment, we see her sitting on the Union Jack’s flag-towel, passively holding a glass, a substitute for the trident, being served champagne by a youthful man, who resembles the classical prototypes. A stone pillar, very much like a third presence in the party, lies collapsed, hidden, like ruins of the ideal. There is a sense of ambiguity coming from the surrounding elements of the background, which seem to be acquiring an entity of their own. Grand yet simple, the villa appears deliberately defective, forgotten in a past time, so as to turn the viewer’s attention to what is taking place in its foreground. The offer and acceptance of the man’s ‘precious’ liquid is reflected on the surface of the pool, as an indication of the semantic and temporal fluidity in all things human. The almost-naked bodies are associated with the simplicity of the villa and the naturalness of the surrounding vegetation, altogether, innocent and fragile, compared with the spiritual. Throughout the work, there is a dominant repetition of a dual interpretative scheme, that of literalism and metaphor. This depiction seems very realistic and fake at the same time. It gives us the feeling of a recovered paradise, where power and recognition, have led people to a kind of eudaimonia that hypnotises or awakes through its exaggeration. The artist’s purpose is not to comment on the present image of Britain, but to present a personal observation associated with the typical depiction of Prossalendi’s Britanniaand let the viewers exercise a social critique through self-reflection. GD

Aris Katsilakis

Aris Katsilakis (Romania, b. 1974). Finding, 2018. Terracotta and wooden box, 70 x 50 x 54 / 80 x 50 x 60. Courtesy of Alma Gallery, Athens.

Aris Katsilakis explores the impact of human intelligence on the material world, the drive that is the guiding principle of civilisation. The forms from his familiar environment are reconverted into unexpected encounters between them. The hybrids, carriers of the material that he creates, are the mysteries of a potentially existing world. Prompted by the lost sculpture of Paulo Prossalendi, he creates a plastic narrative with ambiguous conceptions, which are left to the viewer’s mind to be interpreted. The composition expresses the fantastic story of a find, a splinter of a lion sculpture, the British symbol, of timeless and landless origin. The fantasy find has ceased to be the subject of the archaeological excavation and is defined as an item in conservation, which will soon be a museum exhibit. The narrative of the course of the material object, from a work of art to an object of cultural management, is captured in the same material form, in an eloquent and clear way, by touching the logical fluidity, in full analogy with the malleable material of the clay, that the manages. The artist’s quests bring back to the fore the reflections on the role of the artist as a subject of history. In the Finding, the dominant ambiguity of the elements exacerbates the visual negotiation. The coexistence of the tools for the preservation and transport of fragile objects with the punta, the main tool for the transfer of the gypsum prototype to the marble, skilfully evokes the artist’s presence to the viewer and underlines the origin of the poetry of the material document. GK

Kondosphyris & Kyratsis

Harris Kondosphyris & Panagiotis Kyratsis (Greece, b. 1965 & 1968). In Wonder Woman We Trust, 2018. Three-dimensional digital clay modelling, 40 x 34 x 19.

Harris Kondosphyris, Professor at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Western Macedonia, Florina, in collaboration with Dr Panagiotis Kyratsis, Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Design of the Technological Educational Institute of Western Macedonia, collaborated on an idea about ​​the status of Prossalendi’s Britannia, missing from the Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu, since 1864. The professors opened the topic in a discussion with their students, which ended up in a collaborative work that their group produced (Orestis-Antonis Aufheimer, Nikolaos Efkolidis, Anna Kampouridou, Athanasios Manavis, Prodromos Minaoglou, Kyriaki Plaka and Agisilaos Rompolas). In an effort to arrive at a propagandistic understanding of the world, Western man inspired the fantastic story where modern superheroes attempt to redefine justice and re-establish power. Prossalendi created the statue on the order of the British High Commissioner on the basis of Britannia being the successor to Pallas Athena with the Lion as a descendant of the one in Nemea, and Phaeacian Boat as an emblem of the British supremacy at sea. Nowadays, in the light of postmodernism, the subject is updated with the Wonder Woman standing on a bundle of banknotes with a helmet in a ‘selfie’ position, surrounded by two mechanical dogs. The title is an ironic reference to “In God We Trust”, the official motto of the United States of America. MR

Alexandros Maganiotis

Alexandros Maganiotis (Greece, b. 1972). The Secret Geometry of Seven, 2018. Acrylics on mylar and transparent film, 155 x 120.

Alexandros Maganiotis’ Secret Geometry of Seven develops on two levels each representing a different era and a distinct political perception. The inner level presents the era of Imperial Britain, which appears crowned with a classic Greek antefix and dominant over its colonies and possessions that include the Heptanese. All the supreme symbols are represented by iconography: the mighty lion, the medals of glory, the peace-bringing olive branch and her worldwide dominion of the sea, all of which preserve and enhance its glamorous global glory. Even the anniversary stamps quoted by the painter glorify the British generosity at the moment when she offers the entire Ionian State offers as a wedding gift to King George I of Greece. The seven Ionian Islands, the tips of a regular heptagon, lift Britannia’s height and create the primordial design, which the artist presents as an honorary reference to the sculptor Prossalendi. All the symbols and elements glorify the eternal glory and majesty of an empire that did not perceive the moment that at the turn of time all sovereign data can be overthrown and the years of the mighty empire remain only a subject of historical study. On the external level, the artist transfers his visual composition to modern times by demonstratively defaming the image of Imperial Britain from a rushed black graffiti (here censored) that a subversive spirit of voluntary isolation imposes new ways of life and introverted visions of living together with the European and the global community in direct contrast to the dominant model of expanded British sovereignty over the last centuries. IA

Georgia Matsamaki

Georgia Matsamaki (Greece, b. 1971). Laion, please come back to the boat!, 2018. Collage with cut-out printed paper and beads, 21 x 30.

With theLaion, please come back to the boat!collage Georgia Matsamaki organises a surrealistic scene of historical madness imbued with acute truths and critical humour. The scene is structured with strategic accuracy and intelligent bipolarity. All the pictorial elements that refer to the given subject of the exhibition are present and are communicated either by metaphors or by allegories, in a climate of bittersweet Dadaist sarcasm. The half-naked Britannia with all its military equipment travels to exotic places with parrots and seagulls, apparently on the verge of its tropical possessions. Naturally, aboard the HMS Foxhound the peacekeeping olive tree is transported at the same time as her cannon. Her sovereignty results one way or another. Her enthusiasm for Greece is unquestionable. Corfu is in her mind and her appetite for classicism in her helmet. Only the mighty “Laion” (Lion) needs her admonition to return aboard the safe ship from the wet and dangerous loneliness on the islet where he chose to find privacy. The artist’s mirror-like distorting humour here has taken off in an ironic delirium. She has consciously replaced the roles of Britannia and the lion with the respective roles of Europe and Britain in the current Brexit era and the encouragement to re-enter the pattern of United Europe echoes in our ears: “Britain, please come back to the European Union, or else your little paws will get wet!” IA

Dimitris Merantzas

Dimitris Merantzas (Greece, b. 1967). Multi-Directional Possibility – Danger of Disorientation, 1996. Iron, aluminium, reflective stickers and wheels, 212 x 65 x 50.

Dimitris Merantzas displays a three-dimensional object that is part of his 1990s Imaginary Signs series. The title of the work is Multi-Directional Possibility – Danger of Disorientation. The artist draws inspiration from real road signs and employs the materials and techniques of road signs for his imaginary signs. Road signs have standardised global information codified in certain ways in order to be immediately readable and understood by drivers. Merantzas explores the possibility of using such standardised information for more personal choices and processes of self-reflection and awareness. Could these signs manage to direct our constant need for self-analysis and awareness? This is a very interesting question that the artist addresses to his viewers and it is up to each viewer to answer. However, the particular imaginary sign he selects to display in an exhibition devoted to Prossalendi’s Britannia, and through which he celebrates the relation between Britain and its past protectorate Corfu, carries some additional meaning. Merantzas eloquently and clearly voices the concern of many Europeans about the fate of United Kingdom after its divorce from the European Union. This fate seems indeed to be marked by multiple directions to an extent that there is really a danger of disorientation. CP

Alkistis Michaelidou

Alkistis Michaelidou (Greece, b. 1959). Peace, 2018. Charcoal, chalk, dry pastel and oil on canvas, 70  x 100.

With Peace, Alkistis Michaelidou builds a bridge of subversion between the 19thcentury of Prossalendi and today’s imperative demands. She organises her visual world on two levels of painting, each of which represents a different era of aesthetic, social and political ideologies. On the inner level, the painter imprints the monumental sculptural complex by Prossalendi of Britannia as Pallas Athena along with the mighty Lion, while giving the Phaeacian ship’s prow a classic spirit of glory and honour. In the details of the composition, the painter deviates from the beaten track by transforming the finial of Britannia’s trident into a linear sign of peace that is raised vigorously and aggressively towards the sky, allowing it to be reflected as a circular label in her shield. The special design mutations, which the artist engineers in the composition of Prossalendi, allow the conceptual extension of her social aspirations to the next level of painting perception that she organises on the outer level her work. There she focuses on the task of giving the opportunity for the viewer to sneak into the neoclassical 19th century through a circular transparent scuttle, which may be the mouthpiece of a sea monocle of close observation. And the desecration is written in thick, doubly-inscribed red graffiti letters “PEACE”, on the absolutely necessary tool of seafaring dominion of an empire based on the sea, the world trade, the constant exploratory journey and the imposition of weapons for the preservation of its power. The most violent way of writing translates into the world’s most affluent demand of life. The artist with a spirit of communion and a post-academic manner transcends the space-time codes of demands by combining the spirit of Prossalendi with the constant necessity for peace. IA

Nicholas Moore

Nicholas Moore (England, b. 1958). Remember me, 2018. Mixed media on paper, linocut, glitter, gouache, film, 93 x 66.

Nicholas Moore manages to merge together modernity and historical tradition, in a pop and playful manner. The focal point of the work is a shrine like those built on the road in memory of lost ones, a commonplace in Greek culture. In the position where a religious icon would normally stand is a map overpainted with Prossalendi’s Britannia, wearing her Corinthian helmet, decorated with daffodils, a flower directly linked with Greek mythology. The candle inside is lit, as if trying to keep alive the memory of the lost statue. The roof-like top of the shrine, resembling an ancient temple, carries the heraldic symbol of Britain that coexists with the owls, which symbolise wisdom. At its base, there is a dedicatory inscription, phrasing the well-known “Rule, Britannia” in Greek, which celebrates the country’s maritime supremacy. A hidden message awaits the viewers of the work near the trident, resting on the shrine’s side. It is obvious that the artist has a strong personal connection with his artwork, something that can be verified by the coexistence of numerous Greek and British symbolisms, as well as the musical and linguistic references in the background. Within the black frame, we encounter an assemblage of drawn elements. These perforated shapes portray pieces of the Meccano construction game. One could say that these pieces take after ancient symbols of good luck, and if they were to be connected, they could create a deus ex machina structure. An important element of the work is the phrase “Remember me, but forget my fate”, a reference to Henry Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas (1689). The phrase, which is also the title of the work, is used to create an allegory, paralleling the loss of Britannia with the nation’s loss of identity. Lastly the phrase “I don’t belong here” is connected with the feeling of segregation and not belonging, as a result of the latest political changes in the country. GD

Konstantinos Pardalis

Konstantinos Pardalis (Greece, b. 1977). Still ON, 2018. Mixed media, 47 x 42.

Konstantinos Pardalis starts with Britain’s self-identifying reference as “Brit Athena”, to describe the political presence of the country in the present time. Starting from the emergence of the “in-between space”, as described by Michel de Certeau, in which potential practices become reality, the artist sets as a reflection point our current perception of the future of world history. The potentially functional use of a ready-made object and the visual elements that make up the conceptual intake of the work of art are clearly described, thanks to the intelligent iconography and the careful composition. In Still ON, the goddess of wisdom has been “dressed” with the distinctive red colour of the British flag, with the stars of Europe framing it, obeying a visual writing, with clear references to pop culture and attitude. Britannia, as the artist himself points out, is presented “as a catalyst, as a revolution that marks the denial, the rebellion and the subversion” of the deterioration and decline of humanity. The role of British intelligence in the chronicle of history is matched by the choice of a light source switch, placed in the centre of the composition. Its appropriation, with all its connotations, unleashes the dual light-darkness relationship, from which the opposing pair of progress and unremitting regression towards obscurity emerge semiologically. Placing the switch in the ON position leaves the viewer in no doubt about Britain’s contribution to the history of culture and the development of the whole of Europe. The question is – what happens if the switch is turned off? GK

K. N. Patsios

K. N. Patsios (Greece, b. 1977). Auspicium Melioris Aevi, 2018. Collage on paper, 40 x 30.

K. N. Patsios creates a collage on paper entitled with the Latin motto of the Order of St Michael and St George, Auspicium Melioris Aevi (Token of a Better Age), which in a free translation means – the best is yet to come. Right underneath the Latin inscription, the artist sets up the portrait of Paolo Prossalendi whose face dominates the composition. Then in the fragmentary picture, the viewer can see the image of the Virgin Mary, Santa Rita the Patroness of Impossible Causes, the face of Plato, who influenced the whole Renaissance, along with Canova’s, who was Prossalendi’s teacher, a tropical bird, a work by Caravaggio, another one by Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and a third by Paolo Veronese. What unites these disorderly strewn elements is Britain itself and the several cultural sources of its past that make this particular European nation what it is today. The artist alludes to the neoclassical constituent of British history that was prominent and active in its imperial past, particularly during its colonial apogee in the 19thcentury. Does this past carry an omen; a pledge that the best is yet to come? The artist’s messy arrangement of elements seems at first to entail a negative answer. At second glance however, the idea emerges that historical memory is essentially fragmentary, and it suffices for one to put this memory in order through education so that one can take advantage of this rich and fertile identity. CP

Aglaia Perraki

Aglaia Perraki (Greece, b. 1966). Athena as Britannia on the Rock, 2018. Egg tempera on canvas, 150 x 100.

Aglaia Perraki exhibits a banner presenting, as her title indicates, Athena as Britannia sitting on a sea rock. The artist paints in a mixed media egg tempera technique a contemporary, young Greek woman, wearing a long white dress, with her hands set on her knees and a look on her face betraying the determination of youth. The calm sea background contrasts with this determination, reflecting the colonial past of the United Kingdom, which with the naval superiority of its fleet governed a great part of the globe, in the course of 19th century. The artist paints a golden sky reminiscent of the metaphysical background of Greek orthodox icons, conveying majesty. The composition is obviously inspired by the sestertius of Antoninus Pius (138-160 AD) from 150 AD, which became the basis for the subsequent 1672 farthing of Charles II. There is an inscription at the bottom of the composition that reads: “One is the principle. At the edge of the great razor, the mirror crumbles.” The motto seems to refer to the razor of youth or rather youth as a razor, which is capable of overcoming the greatest obstacles, even the ones that have to do with the image we have about ourselves, through the mirror of our soul. At the same time, it is a motto that matches the mighty power and global rule of Britain in the past. CP

Artemis Potamianou

Artemis Potamianou (Greece, b. 1975). I thought you knew my story, but not anymore, 2018. Installation: spray on plaster, 45 x 50 x 60.

Artemis Potamianou sets up a heap of female heads, which originate from classical antique statues of Athena and other women deities of various sizes. Piled one on top of the other, in a seemingly accidental fashion, these heads are arranged in a heap in the corner of the room, where the walls intersect, recalling thereby Joseph Beuys’ famous 1960s Rostecke (Rust Corner) pieces standing on corners. Beuys himself borrows his arrangement of Rosteckepieces from suprematist hangings of monochromatic squares at the intersection of two walls uniting design, sculpture and painting in the quest of an altogether new way of relating to creation and society. Potamianou follows Beuys and suprematism with a corner heap of sculpted heads, obviously mass-produced on an industrial scale as tourist souvenirs. Her heap of heads undermines the unique classicist sculptural object by pop artistic repetition. Her gesture of amassing the decapitated heads makes thus an ironic reference both to classical and modernist sculpture. The classicist heritage today is erratic and is mediated by popular culture and the tourist industry. However, as her title indicates, there is more to the story of classicism, perennially told and very often misunderstood and distorted. The reception of classicism in the United Kingdom is one of these stories that need to be explored anew in light of the many fragments that still exist scattered all over Britain, testifying this reception. CP

Natassa Poulantza

Natassa Poulantza (Germany, b. 1965). The Britannia Wreck, 2018. Digital print on canvas, 85 x100.

Natassa Poulantza presents a digital print on archival paper. The work is a photographic image, which has been manipulated by the artist and is now composed of vertical strips. The image conveys the atmosphere of a seascape under water, and this may indeed be confirmed by the title of the work, The Britannia Wreck. The work is accompanied by the artist’s narrative: “Conceiving of the work in the world of propaganda, provocation and fabricated fake news, we may assume that Prossalendi’s Britannia statue is the sole sculpture that Damien Hirst did not discover, retrieve or present in his latest monumental exhibition with works by the collector Amotan. Despite the fact that the digital work I present consists mainly of photographic material of a professional diver and treasure hunter, I must disclose a mysterious detail: when the underwater antiquities personnel discovered the spot that the professional photographer and the experienced diver had indicated to them, the statue was no longer there. No matter how much we enter the world of metaphysics, we could risk asserting that we have to do with an amphibious ghost statue, which moves with ease in a space-time void or hole.” Artists do tell stories and Poulantza seems to wish to communicate hers. It does not matter whether the story corresponds to reality as long as it entails a certain awakening and position in the face of present time and history. CP

Irene Pouliassi

Irene Pouliassi (Greece, b. 1989). Trident Respawned, 2018. Aluminium, iron, leather, hair and teeth, 200 x 70 x 5.

Irene Pouliassi creates her visual precept for Pallas Britannia, with the spear of the goddess Athena transforming into a trident, giving a new twist to the mythical encounter of Zeus’ daughter with Poseidon. The victory of wisdom and strategy over the seven seas of the world is a comment on the power of Britain over the centuries, giving the spear the second reading of sceptre. The trident-sceptre, deleting the form of the characteristic cross with the diagonal strips, is placed vertically, with its extended finial being bound with human hair and teeth. The work Trident Respawned addresses the issue of history as a case of personal mythology, which incorporates over its course the quintessence of human existence and, at the same time, is determined by it. The artist elaborately reveals Britain’s life-giving force, which has long been the driving force towards the avant-garde. The elaborate wrapping of the sceptre with the courteous offerings, as sacred devotion, not only reflects the unshakable dedication of the people, but reveals the attachment of their existence to the history of the country on the road to eternity. The rebirth of Athena’s spear follows the path of the dedication of the people who protect the sceptre and who devote themselves, like in a ceremonial rite. The dedication of one part of oneself symbolises the emergence of a new subject and its definitive change, with the artist marking the transformation of Britain itself another aspect of the ritual. GK

Vagelis Robolas

Vagelis Robolas (Greece, b. 1952). The Journey of Odysseus, 2018. Wooden construction, 100 x 70 x 25.

Vagelis Robolas draws from Britain’s naval tradition the dexterity and the strength of the people who roamed the seas and reached the end of the world, reminding us of the beginning of every impossible task. The Journey of Odysseusreflects the primordial need of man to confront the forces of nature, seeking ‘Ithaca’, the place of ideal utopia. Inspired by the legend of Odysseus’ journey from Phaeacia to Ithaca via the barca senza timone (boat-without-rudder), the artist gives form to the magical boat, which, without rudder and with thought as its captain travels faster than the hawk and always finds its way. Its wooden construction carries into its heart the globe of the earth, which has a dual reading, both as a compass, a geo-orientation tool and a pathway, as well as a conceptual perception of the world. The arrangement of the globe of the earth in the centre of the composition is also the addendum of the visual formulation and reveals the inner meaning of the boat-without-rudder, which the myth teaches. The symbolic arrangement of the imprint of the world is the projection of internalised desire to seek and conquer the endlessness of life itself. The psychic powers and virtues of the adventurous human nature have taken on the role of the rudder and are allied for the journey of Odysseus, the mythical hero, who as a timeless symbol represents the resourceful people of Britain. GK

Margot Roulleau-Gallais

Margot Roulleau-Gallais (France, b. 1986). What are we, Britannia?, 2018. Jesmonite, newspaper and bronze powder, 36 x 17 x 17.

In Margot Roulleau-Gallais’s sculpture, we recognise the figure of Britannia as goddess Athena, with reference to her representation in Paolo Prossalendi’s work as well as the British 2 pounds coin. During her creative process, the artist casted the sculpture using pieces of newspaper, with texts of the country’s current affairs. A burst of words makes up her body. On the head she is wearing the Corinthian helmet, in her right hand she holds the trident, while on the left she holds the shield, which carries a relief portrait of Prossalendi, reinforced with bronze details. Her figure seems to be emerging from the turbulent sea with the waves becoming the garment that covers her. The presence of the lion that usually accompanies her representation, in this work is implied in the form of a written word, at the place where it would normally stand. The newspaper cut-outs are chosen for their key-words which serve as visual references of political contect throughout the sculpture. The work is inviting its viewers to read it both visually and verbally. The chromatic details that the artist added refer to the original colour on ancient Greek statues and as palette reference the colours of the Union Jack. It is the artist’s will to pay tribute to Prossalendi as an artist who elevated the sculpture of the period and pioneered in bronze casting. Her love for classical sculpture education makes this work dedicatory. One could grasp it as gratitude for apprenticeship in the work of Prossalendi, in which she follows his teachings and imitates his technical avant-garde. GD

Dimitris Skourogiannis

Dimitris Skourogiannis (Greece, b. 1973). Lady Lace, 2018. Mixed media: wood, ceramic tiles, newspapers, paper and acrylic, 160 x 60 x 30.

With the Lady Lacy work, Dimitris Skourogiannis attempts a reference to neoclassical 19th-century sculptured portraiture as an extension of Prossalendi’s artistic creation that was realised within the expanded British sovereignty. Lady Lacy is a fragile, tender sculpture with soft, humble materials that, while creating a direct contrast to the gravity and monumentality of the materials of the traditional sculpture, such as marble and metal that gave Prossalendi the ability to create his personal world of sculpture, in fact carries the sculptural insight of the 19th century into the contemporary era. The artist places a rose on a part of his composition and introduces the dimension of time and the ephemerality of seasons into his work. Thus, he declares the days of bloom, achievement and glory, but also the days of decline, contraction and withering. Wishing to further enhance the sense of volatility, the sculptor presents a collection of ceramic tiles and a string line level, making direct reference to the processes of construction but also the treatments of demolition. The extensions about the cycle of climax and decadence that the artist stresses relate not only to Britain but also to every empire that first shone and then disappeared from the face of the earth. With the paper lace and the general spirit of his sculptured composition, the artist introduces us to an urban Victorian environment and reminds us of the trend of leading modern sculptures, such as Degas par excellence, to import real, fragile and lived materials into their sculpture with a reference to the temporality and vanity of existence. So temporal and brief was the presence of Prossalendi’s Britannia monumental complex, which for less than half a century decorated the palace’s façade, and then was lost forever. IA

Anna-Maria Smyrnaki

Anna-Maria Smyrnaki (Greece, b. 1971). Great Britain, 2018. Pencil and watercolour on paper, 90 x 120.

Anna-Maria Smyrnaki defines Britain in the context of contemporaneity and approaches her as a country of destination, research and expectation. Inspired by Paolo Prossalendi’s Britannia sculptural complex, she redefines the composition in contemporary terms. The painting displays surreal elements, which are specific to a paradoxical encounter, with multiple symbolism to read. The goddess Athena has given her place to a mortal bourgeois, resident of the modern world, with the vigour of her youth lost and time having left on her face the signs of wisdom and the experience of life. The history of Britain is present in the composition and as a dominant influence is aptly placed at the highest point of the composition, in the form of a calendar purchased on an earlier trip. The depiction of the scene, in an intimate living room, with the intimacy of everyday objects, gives immediacy to the painting’s contents. The seated woman looks forward to the journey with her suitcase ready and her gaze firmly facing the viewers, claiming their attention with the determined posture of her body and the walking stick in her hand. The paradox of the work begins just next to her with the arrangement of Britain’s symbols. In the revised representation, the lion has come to life and lustfully lies by the woman’s feet as just another cat, posing questions about the relationship between them. The singularity of the composition is intensified by the erstwhile helmet of the goddess Athena lying on the floor, creating a mystery between the identities of the woman and the object, and how they relate. GK

Aris Stoidis

Aris Stoidis (Greece, b. 1971). Prossalendi’s Britannia Now, 2018. Maquette: paper and wood ink, 30 x 40 x 1.

Aris Stoidis presents the work entitled “Prossalendi’s Britannia Now” – three-dimensional folded paper on which the design of the Union Jack is painted. The composition includes a standardised crowned figure of Athena, holding a spear, next to the British flag and the Lion, an old symbol of imperial Britain. Folded paper was predominantly employed in the context of synthetic cubism and collage at the beginning of 20th century in an effort to conflate sculpture and painting as well as to make art ‘life’ and ‘real’, avoiding the illusion of representation via the Renaissance convention of perspective. The artist is faithful to the cubist vision as he also employs ‘real’ elements such as human hair and metal in order to increase the degree of reality conveyed by his work. The artist seems to wish to recompose not only Prossalendi’s lost statue but also to furnish those ‘real’ elements that the statue stands for, namely the allegiance between Corfu and Britain, between the protectorate and the colonial power, via art. Is the message of this allegiance between Britain and Corfu better conveyed in the modern vocabulary inspired by synthetic cubism and collage rather than in the illusionary mode of neoclassical or romantic artistic depiction? This question that the artist addresses to his work’s viewers clearly merits an extensive and systematic review. CP

Shubha Taparia

Shubha Taparia (India, b. 1975). Britannia at Tenterden Street, 2018. Lenticular print on 3 wooden palettes, 112 x 80 / 3 x (10 x 120 x 100).

Undoubtedly, the work of Shubha Taparia bears the characteristics of a contemporary art, combining her personal artistic vocabulary with ingenuity. Her aim is to restore the image of Britannia and extend its journey beyond the story known to us. In order to achieve this, she uses a specific printing technique that brings the illusion of motion to the work. The so-called lenticular effect, which is made up of layers, becomes the medium and the message of the artist’s project. This particular piece is based on a series in which she explores locations under reconstruction and lifted objects. According to her, in this aspect of urban life, the process of suspension can transform immovable objects of large scale into flying, enigmatic forms. In her work, she presents a sculpture similar to Prossalendi’s Britannia, which adorned the Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu, suspended over the undefined cityscape of a building under construction, at Tenterden Street in Mayfair, London. The artist is suggesting a follow-up to the story of the disappeared sculpture, placing it in present time, returning it to public view. The back and forth movement of the sculpture in the moody sky symbolises its journey through history, while the seeming sloppiness in its transportation forecasts its loss. The repetitive movement, which is activated by the shifting gaze of the viewer, refers semantically to a predetermined state. Britannia becomes a pendulum, which measures the cyclical course of the rise and fall of urban centres as well as the transient interpretations that cultural objects acquire, even when they are lost or their notions devalued. GD

Yorgos Taxiarchopoulos

Yorgos Taxiarchopoulos (Greece, b. 1972). Double Face, 2018. Digital collage on paper, 39 x 27.

The detail of Prossalendi’s Britannia from a historical photograph is the beginning of Yorgos Taxiaropoulos’ creative act. Through the artistic gestures that strengthen the meaningful link of elements with straightforward references to the history of Prossalendi and contemporary British and Greek reality, the artist composes, using collage, a personal view of the cultural proximity of Greece and Britain. The sculptural complex of Britannia is inverted and placed semiologically as a section on the composition, defining it at two different levels, which describe the meaning of the work. The contemporary iconography rivals the historicity of the sculpture, which was to be lost in time but was intended to serve as a firmly-based tie between Corfu and Britain. The double face (double sided), a French term in clothing, is adopted as a pun, indicating the ambiguity of the work of art, with direct reference to the past that modern history embraces. The conceptual journey begins from the depiction of the Pallas Britannia and reaches to today’s age to draw the new image of the country as it is shaped by the mass media and establishes its image in the world consciousness. The inverted image of the sculptural complex expresses not only the time distance between the periods represented by the selected elements of the composition but also the mirroring between the real picture and its image, as is the case in Britain and the management of its projection by the international press. GK

Olga Tobreluts

Olga Tobreluts (USSR b. 1970). I Love Britannia and Britannia Loves Me, 2018. UV print on perspex mounted on forex, 120 x 82.

Olga Tobreluts creates a photographic print of Athena that she entitles I Love Britannia and Britannia Loves Me. Her work is clearly related to her Models series from the early 1990s when she created a series of works based on antique sculptures that she brought to contemporary life by giving them life-size bodies and dressing them in current fashion brands. The work bears the strong mark of appropriation, an artistic practice that was prevalent in the 1990s mainly in the USA but also in Europe as a result of the tendency to reconsider the artistic past and heritage in the general context of postmodernism. The image of Athena that the artist produces is one of flawless beauty and youth; it is an image that is at once associated with classical sculpture, since it is an amalgamation of beautiful facial traits and does not recall any particular face. It relates also to the postmodern pop artistic cult of beauty, as for example presented in the photographs of Pierre et Gilles. The artist’s reference to Joseph Beuys’ historic 1974 performance I Like America and America Likes Me is ironic and stresses the analogous love-hate relationship between Russia and Britain. Her title further indicates that there is mutual attraction between neoclassicism and Britain; Britain provided the fertile ground in which neoclassicism developed and sustained the culture and the physiognomy of a nation. CP

Amikam Toren

Amikam Toren (Israel, b. 1945). Armchair Painting: Rule Britannia, 2018. Ready-made painting, cut-out text, 61 x71

Amikam Toren approaches Prossalendi’s Britannia by activating his well-known series of Armchair Paintings, which he began in 1989 and continues to work on sporadically. In this recognizable series, the artist recruits various found objects and tries, with little interference, to transform them into conceptual works of art. He is interested in the attributed interpretation of the everyday objects he chooses, which are often overlooked or considered kitsch, and their new meaning when combined with the use of language. For him, it is an opportunity to provoke reflection and bring out the truth of things. This particular work is based on a ready-made painting. The painting’s sophistication is interrupted by the artist’s creative abstraction. The depiction captures an indistinct moment (is the sun rising or setting?) that becomes the surface on which the artist cuts out the text “Rule Britannia” after James Thomson’s patriotic poem of 1740. The line of the horizon highlights and delimits this phrase, while underneath it the turbulent sea seems to flatter and threaten it simultaneously. The use of this phrase is intended to provoke critical thinking, not only through its illustration but also through its verbal context. The font of letters used, being always the same in all the works in this series, implies that the sentence is presented as a quotation, without carrying the artist’s personal ‘voice’. The cut-out words are essentially present and made up from their empty space, a fact that comments on the semantic evolution of the phrase. Patriotism has been using it passionately to exalt Britain’s supremacy, however patriotism is also one of the reasons that led the country to Brexit, leaving the initial phrase to hover in a negative-empty space, thus absent in meaning. At the same time and on another level, the loss of meaning is also linked with the absence of Prossalendi’s Britannia. GD

Public Information

Exhibition: “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Contemporary Perspective.
Supervised by Megakles Rogakos and curated by Ioannis N. Arhontakis, Georgia Damianou, Georgia Kourkounaki and Constantinos V. Proimos.
Opening: 8pm, Saturday, 1 September 2018
Duration: 1 – 29 September 2018
Opening Hours: 10.00am – 7pm daily, except Sunday.
Venue: Ionian Academy, 1 Kapodistriou & Akadimias Street, 49100 Corfu, Greece.
www.ionio.gr/en/prospective/university-history
Communication: Mrs Ioanna Anemogianni, +30 26610 87202, secretariat@ionio.gr
Visuals: www.corfuheritagefoundation.org/prossalendis-britannia-contemporary/
Reservation: Eventbrite

Accompanying Catalogue: A fully-illustrated 130-page catalogue, including an essay by Dr Rogakos on Prossalendi’s Britannia and comments on all the contemporary works by Mr Ioannis N. Arhontakis, Ms Georgia Damianou, Ms Georgia Kourkounaki and Dr Constantinos V. Proimos, is published by the Corfu Heritage Foundation (ISBN: 978-618-83770-0-4).

Historical Perspective

“Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Historical Perspective
Curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos
Ionian Academy, Corfu, 7 – 29 July 2018 – Eventbrite

"Prossalendi's Britannia" Historical Perspective

CORFU.- As it is well known, George IV, when he was Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, founded the Order of St Michael and St George in Corfu and in Malta on 28 April 1818, two hundred years ago. This forms part of Corfu’s history and belongs to its heritage. To celebrate the Order’s bicentenary, the Corfu Heritage Foundation is organising the Corfu Festival 2018, which is to include a series of cultural events encompassing literature, music, visual arts and sports.

This Festival is taking place under the auspices of the British Embassy, Athens, the Hellenic Republic’s Ministries of Culture and Tourism and the Municipality of Corfu, between 7 July and 30 September 2018.

Three portraits of the first British High Commissioners of the Ionian Islands were created by Corfiot sculptor Paolo Prossalendi (1784-1837) and are kept in the Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu. In addition, his Britannia sculptural ensemble crowned the façade of the Palace in the period 1823-1864. On 2 June 1864, right at the beginning of the Ionian Islands’ union with Greece, there is evidence that this sculpture was boarded on a ship to Malta, and its unknown whereabouts likely suggests that is was destroyed in Malta’s bombing in the Second World War. Therefore, the title of the exhibition “Prossalendi’s Britannia” has been carefully chosen to refer to both the Greek sculptor and the British source of his inspiration. Particular weight is given to the personification of Britannia, a Romano-Celtic goddess usually depicted with helmet, shield and trident, like Athena Pallas. The figure appeared in the Roman coins and revived with the name “Britannia” in the farthing coin that Charles II began to release in 1672. The relation of Athena Pallas and the Hypermachos Strategos Theotokos (Virgin Defending General) to Britannia, as feminine goddesses turning masculine in defence of their core values, is the focus of the exhibition. The basic proposition is that Prossalendi’s relief for the base of the Bust of George IV, by the English sculptor Sir Francis Chantrey, gives the desired answer that obviously links Athena with Britannia.

The “Prossalendi’s Britannia” exhibition is organised in two separate perspectives – the Historical and the Contemporary. The Historical Perspective is curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos and includes the following works: (1) the portrait of The Knight Paolo Prossalendi, Painter and Statue Maker, by Spagnoli after Calosguro, of the Corfu Reading Society; (2) Prossalendi’s plaster Study for the Bust of Nugent of the Corfu Reading Society; (3) Prossalendi’s bronze Bust of Nugent of the Palace of SMSG; (4) Calosguro’s marble Bust of Frederick Guilford, of the National Historical Museum, Athens. In addition the exhibition includes (5) Joseph Schranz᾽s The Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu, from the British Embassy, Athens; and (6) Joseph Cartwright’s watercolour of The Esplanade of Corfu, from Spiro Flamburiari Collection; and (7) Dr Johnson Savage’s The Maitland Monument on the Esplanade, Corfu Town, from the Corfu Reading Society. Other works included are works from a Private Collection, London – (8) Album of Augusto Colla, opened at the relevant page with the aspect of the Palace around 1860; (9) an anonymous view of thePalace of St Michael and St George after Joseph Schranz; (10) a view of the Esplanadeby James Horsbrugh. The display also includes (11-12) the two pages concerning Prossalendi in the Gazzetta degli Stati Uniti delle Isole Jonie– #214, 21 January 1822, relating to the making and placement of Britanniaon the Palace; and #444, 19 June – 1 July 1826, relating to Sir Thomas Lawrence’s praise for the exhibition at Lansdowne House, London, including Prossalendi’s works. This historic exhibition is complimented by the permanent display in the Palace of works by Prossalendi – (13) the Bust of Maitlandand its Base; (14) the Bust of Adamand its Base; and (15) the Base for Chantrey’s Bust of George IV. The display includes (16) the insignia of the Order of St Michael & St George awarded to Sir Efthimios E. Mitropoulos KCMG. The Historical Perspective will be presented at the Ionian Academy, Corfu, in 7 – 29 July 2018.

Accompanying Catalogue: A fully-illustrated 130-page catalogue, including an essay by Dr Megakles Rogakos that covers all aspects of “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Historical Perspective, is published by the Corfu Heritage Foundation (ISBN: 978-618-83770-0-4).

Public Information

Opening: 8pm, Saturday, 7 July 2018

Duration: 7 – 29 July 2018

Venue: Ionian University, 1 Kapodistriou & Akadimias Street, 49100 Corfu, Greece

www.ionio.gr/en/prospective/university-history

Opening Hours: 8.30am – 9pm daily, except Sunday

Communication: Mrs Ioanna Anemogianni, +30 26610 87202, secretariat@ionio.gr

Visuals: www.corfuheritagefoundation.org/prossalendis-britannia-historic/

Free Tickets: Eventbrite

The Knight Paolo Prossalendi

F. Spagnoli after Giovanni Calosguro (act: Bologna). The Knight Paolo Prossalendi, Painter and Statue Maker, c. 1840. Copperplate engraving on paper, 35 x 24. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | Vrokinis records that Giovanni Calosguro “in indication of his gratitude towards his first instructor, aside of a bust of marble that he had long been creating, having designed his image, after sending it to Bologna in order to be lithographed, distributed its copies in his homeland and the rest of the Ionian islands. This image was accompanied by another ‘Ethical image’, written by him in Italian and included in the then published ‘Album Ionio’.” (Vrokinis 1877:140). Consequently, F. Spagnioli represented the bust of Prossalendi with a necktie above a shirt and the insignia of the Order of St Michael and St George on the lapel of his coat.

Bust of Sir Thomas Maitland

Paolo Prossalendi (Corfu, 1784-1837). Bust of Sir Thomas Maitland, 1821-1822. Bronze. Courtesy of the Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu. | Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824) was a Governor of Malta, and served as Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands during 1815-1823, with a seat of administration at Corfu. Popularly known as “King Tom”, he was a sound administrator. He established government banks, built roads and lighthouses. Mindful of the importance that the Ionians attached to titled people, he instituted the Order of St Michael and St George, whose honours were to be bestowed on suitable recipients in the Ionian Islands and Malta. To equip the new Order with headquarters as well as to house the Senate and provide a home for the Lord High Commissioner, he commissioned the Palace that still graces the lower Esplanade, Corfu Town. When he died and was buried in Malta in 1824, he was mourned in Corfu with special requiem ceremonies. His bust, made by Prossalendi, is the first in Greece to be cast in bronze. Interestingly, an 1817 plaster study of this bust, housed in The Thorvaldsen Museum, Copenhagen, suggests that Prossalendi had sought the advice of his fellow sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1797-1838) for the casting.

Bust of Sir Frederick Adam

Paolo Prossalendi (Corfu, 1784-1837). Bust of Sir Frederick Adam, 1825. Marble. Courtesy of the Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu. | General Sir Frederick Adam (1784-1853) was a Scottish major-general at the Battle of Waterloo. Between 1824 and 1832 he was Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. He married the Corfiot Diamantina Palatianou and for her sake he built the Palace of Mon Repos. In theBust of AdamProssalendi emphasises the purely idealistic elements, the heroic expression and the imperial style in a faithful rendition of the classicist ideals. On the pedestal, he presents four reliefs in an order: on the front side Ares, on the right side Agraeos Nómios, on the left side Athena and on the back the personification of Corfu. These are symbolic figures, in order to highlight the virtues of the subject, his military status, his contribution to the island’s agriculture, his wisdom and his love of the island.

Statue of Sir Frederick Adam

Paolo Prossalendi (Corfu, 1784-1837). Statue of Sir Frederick Adam, 1832. Bronze. Courtesy of the Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu. | Sir Frederick Adam was a popular Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands in Corfu. He benefited the island by building roads and constructing an aqueduct to bring fresh water from Benitses to Corfu Town. In 1832, Paolo Prossalendi created the Statue of Adam, a monumental work in bronze, to honour him because under his commission “the waters were imported from Benitses to Corfu Town” (Vrokinis 1877:227-236). The work was placed on a cylindrical pedestal, in the middle of a water tank, where the public fountain had been located, in front of the Palace of St Michael and St George at the northern end of the Esplanade.

Bust Portrait of Lord Nugent (plaster)

Paolo Prossalendi (Corfu, 1784-1837). Bust Portrait of Lord Nugent, c. 1835. Plaster, 29 x 19 x 16. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu. | George Nugent-Grenville (Buckinghamshire, 1789-1850), 2nd Baron Nugent of Carlanstown, was an Irish politician. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and in 1810 received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from the university. He was Whig Member of Parliament for Buckingham, 1810-1812. In November 1830 Nugent was made one of the Lords of the Treasury, but he resigned this position in August 1832, tobecome Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. This office he retained for three years, from 1 December 1832 to 23 February 1835, returning to England with the Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George. He was a member of the Reform Club and the Athenaeum Club. Nugent died on 26 November 1850, at his residence in Buckinghamshire. Prossalendi’s present plaster Bust Portrait of Lord Nugentis a small preliminary model for the larger fine bronze in the Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu. As so many of Prossalendi’s works have been lost or destroyed, it is wonderful that this work was preserved by Alice Padova-Anderson (1936-2011) and subsequently bequeathed to the Corfu Reading Society.

Bust Portrait of Lord Nugent (bronze)

Paolo Prossalendi (Corfu, 1784-1837). Bust of Lord Nugent, 1835. Bronze. Courtesy of the Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu. | In August 1832, George Nugent-Grenville, 2nd Baron Nugent of Carlanstown, became the 3rdLord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. This office he retained for three years, returning to England with the Grand Cross of St Michael and St George. The Bust of Nugentwas made around the time when the next Commissioner, Sir Howard Douglas (1776-1861), replaced him, in 1835. The Commissioner is rendered with his head turned slightly to the left, so that he can see beyond the viewer. The idealistic expression of the face, faithfully based on classicist ideals, stylistically matches the elements of the toga that marks the bust’s boundaries. It is noteworthy that no source refers to Prossalendi as the creator of the official bronze version (Christou 2001:48). However, the emergence of its small preliminary model of plaster at the Corfu Reading Society confirms the fact that it is the work of the Greek sculptor.

Bust of Frederick Guilford

Giovanni Calosguro (Corfu, 1794-1878). Bust of Frederick Guilford, 1827. Marble, 90 x 63 x 61. Courtesy of the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens. | Giovanni Calosguro belongs, along with Paolo Prossalendi the Elder and Dimitrios Trivolis-Pieris, among the Ionian island artists who revived the art of sculpture there, creating the first works of modern Greek sculpture. The bust of the great Hellenist and Philhellene Frederick North, Earl of Guilford (1776-1827), who in 1824 founded the Ionian Academy on Corfu and with whose financial assistance a number of Greeks studied abroad, was made in the year of his death, 1827, initially by Prossalendi, on commission from the society of the professors of the Ionian Academy. Calosguro then made a similar bust on his own initiative, more than life-size, which was nearly an exact copy of the one by Prossalendi. When the latter was requested in Athens, it was replaced by the bust of Calosguro. But its base, with its inscription composed by the distinguished scholar and colleague of Guilford Christophoros Filitas, stayed at the Ionian Academy and on it was placed Prossalendi’s work, which was destroyed by the bombing of 1943. The sitter is depicted wearing the specially designed ancient-style uniform of the Lord of the Ionian Academy, fastened on his right shoulder by a brooch. His mature age is expressed by the wrinkled cheeks and the stringy but at the same time rather loose neck while his gaze is fixed, in keeping with the neoclassicist model, his eyebrows heavy and lips fleshy, with a slight smile. The thin hair on his head is framed in relief by a decorative band with an owl in the centre, the symbol of education. The imposing rendering of the figure expresses self-confidence and satisfaction and stresses the Earl’s dynamic personality. (Tonia Giannoudaki. National Glyptotheque – Permanent Collection. Athens, GR: National Gallery – Alexandros Soutzos Museum, 2006, p.30).

Derby Figurine of Britannia

Attributed: William Duesbury (England 1725-1786). Derby Figurine of Britannia, c. 1765. Porcelain, 37 x 19 x 14. Courtesy of Megakles Rogakos Collection, London. | This 1760s Derby porcelain Figurine of Britannia, standing on a raised scroll moulded base, was probably made by William Duesbury. Being the largest version of its kind, it is a very imposing and elegant piece. The female figure is dressed in warrior outfit supporting with her left hand the shield next to the British Lion to one side, while standing by the globe partially protected by her flag to the other side. The elaborate baroque base reveals some implements of war and peace, including a cannon with balls, a pair of trumpets and a laurel wreath over a sword. The figure is nicely modeled and lovingly decorated with colour and gilt. The the composition is stunning down to the detail on the globe, the snake armband and all the faces – Britannia’s, the Lion’s and even the tiny Medusa’s on her bosom. The Medusa as a buckle for the aegis, a magical shielding shawl, decisively links Britannia to Athena.

Staffordshire Figurine of Britannia

Attributed: John and Rebecca Lloyd of Shelton (England, act: 1834-1852). Staffordshire Figurine of Britannia, c. 1840. Porcelain, 16 x 11 x 11. Courtesy of Megakles Rogakos Collection, London. | This 1840s Staffordshire porcelain Figurine of Britannia, seated on the British Lion, while holding the shield and the sceptre with either hand, is rather unusual. The model for Britannia is somewhat plump, and this fact is perhaps further highlighted by her thick helmet topped by bold purple plumes. The craftsmanship is attributed to John and Rebecca Lloyd of Shelton. Typical of Staffordshire potters, who often copied successful porcelains, a touch of humour is revealed on the sombre subject – the whimsical smile on the face of Britannia and the rather dopey expression given to the British Lion. As a classical figure in the north, Britannia has thrown a jacket over her one shoulder and back. The Union Jack pattern on her shield makes it appear like coloured candy and becomes the palette for the bed of flowers shared by herself and her pet. Gilt is used to accentuate extra decorative details all over the composition and for the title at the front of the base.

Britannia receiving Neptune’s Trident

John Thurston (England, 1774-1822). Britannia receiving Neptune’s Trident, 1807. Hand-coloured copperplate engraving on paper, 26 x 20. Courtesy of Megakles Rogakos Collection, London. | John Thurston, who exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1794 to 1812, is memorable for his skills as a copperplate engraver for book illustrations. He developed the unusual technique of drawing straight onto the copper sheet. Here, he represents Poseidon emerging from the sea onto the British soil in order to meet glorious Britannia, at whose feet rest the materials of war and peace, and offer her his trident. Thurston’s print is inscribed: “Neptune (Poseidon) resigning the sovereignty of the Ocean, by presenting his Trident to Britannia : and pointing to Fame who / is proclaiming the Glory of the British Admirals. Peace and Plenty emblematically represent the happy / consequences resulting from the valour of our Naval Commanders.” This trident is an almighty weapon fully empowering its holder. Therefore, Poseidon’s gesture of handing his trident to Britannia is a gesture of utmost trust, respect and courtesy. The idea is that armed with such weapon, Britannia becomes the ever invincible ruler of the seas.

Gazzetta degli Stati Uniti delle Isole Jonie, #214, 21 January 1822, p.2

Gazzetta degli Stati Uniti delle Isole Jonie, #214, 21 January 1822, p.2. Courtesy of General State Archives – Archives of the Prefecture of Corfu. | Thanks to Mrs Nella Pantazi, Director of the General State Archives – Archives of the Prefecture of Corfu, here is reproduced the first announcement of the Statue of Britannia in the Gazette of the United States of the Ionian Islands. The original Italian text is translated as follows:

“The colossal statue of Britannia, which is to be placed on the top of the front of the new building that is being built, is almost completed. The height of it is over 12 English feet, and on the one side it has a Lion proportional to its size, and on the other the Shield and a Prow of Boat, Acrostolium, according to the Greeks. § The work was sculpted by Mr Dimech from Malta under the immediate direction and enlarged from a model made by Cavalier P. Prossalendi from Corfu. The exactness of the sculpture and the classical style with which this work is performed, combined with many other works that have come out of the hands, or under the direction of the aforementioned Corfiot artist, justify the pride of this island, a child prodigy who with so much disinterestedness and pure patriotism has tried to awaken in his homeland the love and admiration for those fine arts for which the friars always adored the Greeks. § The statue is found at the courtyard of the Convent of St Francis exposed to the public view. E.C.I.

The Esplanade, Corfu

Joseph Cartwright (England, 1789-1829). The Esplanade, Corfu, c. 1825. Ink and watercolour on paper, 30 x 55. Courtesy of Spiro Flamburiari Collection, London. | In this watercolour, Joseph Cartwright represents the whole stretch of Corfu’s Esplanade from the Maitland Memorial (1816) in the south to the Palace of St Michael and St George (1819-1823) in the north, both buildings designed in the Regency style by the British architect Sir George Whitmore (1775-1862). The Maitland Memorial, located in the Upper Esplanade (south), was constructed in 1816 as a peristyle rotunda with 20 columns in the Ionic order. It was dedicated to the British Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824), and exudes the general climate of classicism that prevailed at the time. This Memorial is also known as Sterna(water tank) because when it was built, it covered the older Venetian Gradenigo Water Tank. The two entrances of the Memorial were intended to serve those who continued to use the tank after its construction. In this scene’s foreground are groups of people, men and women, largely Corfiots but also Jews and a few British people, in a variety of local and European costumes.

The Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu

Joseph Schranz (Germany, 1803-1853). The Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu, c. 1830. Oil on canvas, 59 x 95. Courtesy of the British Embassy, Athens. | In this painting Joseph Schranz juxtaposes the Old Fortress of Corfu, built on the rocky peninsula with the two distinctive peaks, and the newly built Palace of St Michael and St George in the northern part of the Esplanade. He takes the opportunity to reproduces with considerable accuracy the palace that Sir George Whitmore KCH (1775-1862) was commissioned to design and construct between 1814 and 1824. The imposing and large-scale building complex of the palace was built with an architectural morphology that essentially introduced English romantic classicism to the Ionian Islands. The building is the largest palace in Greece, after the palace of Otto in Athens, today’s Parliament. It is distinguished by majesty and elegance despite its large size. It is a three-storey building, joined through the outer Doric peristyle and two arches, to two side wings. The parapet of the palace’s superstructure is adorned with reliefs with the symbols of the Ionian Islands, designed by the important Corfiot sculptor Paolo Prossalendi. Crowning the façade there was a statue representing Britannia with the British Lion and the Phaeacian Galley, also by Prossalendi, which the British took when they left the island in 1864. This is the earliest record of the palace’s façade, whose statue of Britannia has since become a legend.

View of the Esplanade with St Nicholas of the Jewess and the Palace of St Michael and St George from the Port Raymond Barracks

James Horsbrugh (Britain, 1820-1868). View of the Esplanade with St Nicholas of the Jewess and the Palace of St Michael and St George from the Port Raymond Barracks, c. 1840. Graphite and sepia on paper, 17 x 28. Courtesy of Private Collection, London. | James Horsbrugh was a British artist who joined the 10thLincolnshire regiment in 1838, when it served extensively in the Eastern Mediterranean. This sketch presents a rare and studied view of the Esplanade, the central square of Corfu, as a patchwork of Venetian, French and British influences. The Esplanade stretches over an area of ​​84,000 m², between the Old Fortress and the Old Town, making it the largest square in the Balkans. Its name comes from the Italian spianare, which means to flatten, and this was because it was created in the 16th-17thcentury when the Venetians decided to demolish the buildings that were located around the fortress in order to improve its view of the sea and also increase the firing range for the defenders. The formation of the site began in 1537 when the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli (1484-1559) set some boundaries in the area and banned the rebuilding, while in 1628 the boundaries were extended and the demolition of many additional buildings was imposed. In addition contemporary building were built amphitheatrically in the area that remained, between the two Corfu Fortresses, and the alleys leading to the square were formed at right angles to it for defensive reasons as well. Between 1807 and 1814, the French built the imposing buildings in the Liston, forming the centre of the social life of Corfu and the most cosmopolitan meeting point. The church of St Nicholas of the Jewess, built before 1600 and demolished by the British in 1842 (Spyridon K. Papageorgiou, History of the Church of Corfu, Corfu, 1920, p.198), dominates the forefront of this view. During the British protectorate period, between 1818 and 1824, the construction of the Palace of St Michael and St George, on the northern side of the Esplanade, was designed to be used as the residence and administrative centre of the British Lord High Commissioner. Here, the palace has already been completed and adorned with the sculptural composition of Prossalendi’s Britanniaon the front façade’s superstructure. In the background the Pantocrator (Almighty), the highest mountain in Corfu, at an altitude of 906 metres, is dominant.

Augusto Colla - Palace of St Michael and St George

Augusto Colla (Italy, 1821-1888). View of the Palace of St Michael and St George, Corfu, 1857. Albumen print on paper. Courtesy of the Michael Kokkalis Archive, Corfu. | Augusto Colla photographed the façade of the Palace of St Michael and St George in 1857, when the Britanniasculptured ensemble, based on design by Paolo Prossalendi and executed by Vincenzo Dimech (1768-1831), was still in situ. The creation of the work and its placement is described by Lavrentios Vrokinis (1850-1911), principal representative of Corfiot historiography – “In 1822, upon instruction and supervision by Prossalendi based on preliminary model by himself, the Maltese sculptor Dimech, who happened to be in Corfu, created out of tuff the colossal statue of Britannia of a height of twelve English feet, having relative to its size analogies, on the one hand the Lion and on the other the Shield and the Prow of the Boat (Acrostolionaccording to the ancients), which previously appeared in general view at the forecourt of the then school of fine art, and was then appended on the top of the façade of the then founded Palace at Corfu’s main square (now Union Square).” (Vrokinis 1877:230-231). A brief description of the work is also available in the Gazzetta degli Stati Uniti delle Isole Jonie, #214, 1 January 1822, p.2.

Sestertius of Hadrian - Britannia Seated with Spear and Shield

Sestertius of Hadrian (AD 117-138). Britannia Seated with Spear and Shield, c. AD 120. Bronze. Courtesy of Classical Numismatic Group, London. | There were many coin types, also medals, issued under Hadrian (AD 76-138), commemorating his travels throughout the Roman Empire, visiting various provinces to take stock of his inheritance and calm the disquiet, which had arisen in the later years of Trajan’s reign. This impressive and rare sestertius was struck in commemoration of the first of these, sometime around AD 120, when Hadrian crossed the Channel to Britannia where, during his stay, construction began on a seventy-three-mile long wall across the north of the province, known to this day as Hadrian’s Wall. Here, Britannia is seated slightly left, with head facing and resting on her right arm, spear lying on her other arm, right foot set on rocks, and round shield to her right. Similar coin types were also issued under Antoninus Pius (138-161), who carried out some repair work to Hadrian’s wall. As Roman influence in Britain declined, Britannia was not seen again on coins until 1672, during the reign of Charles II (1630-1685). The present bronze coin was the actual model for Britannia used for the copper farthing in 1672.

Farthing of Charles II (1630-1685). Britannia Seated on a Globe

Farthing of Charles II (1630-1685). Britannia Seated on a Globe, 1672, London. Copper. | On copper halfpennies and farthings issued under Charles II (1630-1685) in 1672, Britannia made her re-appearance since Roman times. She is shown seated on a globe, facing left, with an olive branch in her right hand, a spear in her left hand, and a shield leaning against the globe. The shield bears the pattern of the Union Jack from the British flag. The design and attributes of this portrayal of Britannia are almost certainly inspired by the earlier Britannias who appeared on the Roman coins. The model for this Britannia was supposedly Frances Teresa Stuart (1647-1702), a great beauty of the Restoration period who refused to become the mistress of Charles II. She eventually married the Duke of Richmond and Lennox.

Cartwheel Penny of George III - Portrait of George III / Britannia seated on a Mount

Cartwheel Penny of George III (1760-1820). Portrait of George III / Britannia seated on a Mount, 1797. Copper, 4. Courtesy of Milly Flamburiari Collection, London. | The George III 1797 Cartwheel Penny had a most innovative design. It was inordinately large and thick, in order to fit requirements of its time for intrinsic value, as part of an attempt to restore confidence in British currency. The seated and armed figure of Britannia echoes the previous versions. With her right hand she is holding out an olive branch. This is the first time, however, in which her stereotypical spear turns into a trident. The goddess is seated on rock emerging from a piece of land that is surrounded by waves, and a sailboat appears on the horizon in the background. Poseidon’s trident submitted to her hands and the marine setting indicate the Royal Navy’s peak of efficiency during the French Revolutionary Wars (1793–1801) and foretell the eventual fact that Britannia was to “rule the waves” and strike a decisive victory in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1814 and 1815).

Obol of George III - Britannia seated on a Globe / Winged Lion holding Gospel

Obol of George III (1760-1820). Britannia seated on a Globe / Winged Lion holding Gospel, 1819. Copper, 3.Courtesy of Private Collection, London. | The obolwas issued under George III (1760-1820), King of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, in 1819 as the currency of the United States of the Ionian Islands during the British Protectorate between 1814 and 1864. The obverse shows Britannia developing from the previous versions, seated left on a globe, resting her right hand on an olive tree and her left on a trident, with the union shield to the right. The reverse shows the Winged Lion of St Mark standing left, head facing frontally, wearing a halo, and holding the Gospel that radiates seven arrows, emblematising the Heptanese– Corfu, Cythera, Cephallenia, Ithaca, Lefkas, Paxoi and Zante.

Antony Dufort - Britannia

Antony Dufort (Ireland, b. 1948). Britannia: Two Pounds Commemorative Coin, 2015. Plaster, :20 x 2. Courtesy of The Royal Mint, Wales. | In 2015, The Royal Mint commissioned Antony Dufort to issue a new definitive £2 coin, bearing an image of Britannia. What is new about his design is the head and shoulders close-up of Britannia, which gives the viewer the opportunity to engage more with the character of the goddess. The sculptor admitted that he based his design on an ancient Greek statercoin in his personal collection, presenting the helmeted head of Athena, wearing a chiton, and armed with weapons of war. Dufort’s Britannia, partially based on his wife’s countenance, is presented in profile with long hair covered by a Corinthian helmet with long plume. She is supporting her trident with one hand over her one shoulder. The other shoulder is protected by her round shield that bears on it the Union Jack pattern. On the left side of the background appear the White Cliffs of Dover, facing France, a geophysical barrier emblematic as a shield against aggression from the continent. On the other side appears a ship on the high seas standing for Britain’s dominance over the sea. In the £2 coin the cliffs and the ship were omitted, but they are present in the gold sovereign based on this design.

Order of St Michael and St George

Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, 2012. Courtesy of Sir Efthimios E. Mitropoulos, London. | The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III. Named in honour of two military saints, the Order was originally awarded to those holding commands or high position in the Mediterranean territories acquired in the Napoleonic Wars, and was subsequently extended to holders of similar office or position in other territories of the British Empire. It now recognises service in a foreign country, or in relation to foreign and Commonwealth affairs, for example the work of foreign-service officers and diplomats. The original home of the Order was the Palace of St Michael and St George in Corfu, the residence of the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands and the seat of the Ionian Senate. Since 1906, the Order’s chapel has been in St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Le Charivari – News 159, 01.01.1863

Charles Vernier (France, 1813-1892). Le Charivari – News 159: A Good Joke (Actualités 159: Une bonne plaisanterie), 01.01.1863. Courtesy of Private Collection, London.| Europe is alerting a handsome maiden, to whom Great Britain is offering a platter, with these words: “A pretty present that is about nothing… it must be a dish of her business… there is of course something underneath… beware, my little one, beware!” (Un si joli present que cela à propos de rien… ça doit être un plat de son metier… il y a bien sûr quelque chose la-dessous… méfiez vous, ma petite, méfiez vous!)

Le Charivari – News 161, 13.01.1863

Charles Vernier (France, 1813-1892). Le Charivari – News 161: The New Year Gifts (Actualités 161: Les étrennes), 13.01.1863. Courtesy of Private Collection, London. | While having a firm grip over Gibraltar, Britannia is offering a platter labelled “Ionian Islands” to the Evzone. The Spaniard, who is at the other end, thinks to himself: “Of course she will give me my Christmas tip too.” (Bien sur quelle va me donner aussi mes étrennes.)

Cham - Le Charivari – News 172, 19.01.1863

Cham (France, 1819-1879). Le Charivari – News 172: Very Good! (Actualités 172: Les étrennes), 19.01.1863. Courtesy of Private Collection, London. | Britannia, identified as Albion, is resting on a rock and lifting the Ionian Islands and Gibraltar from her trident, as attractions away from the reach of an eager boy and girl. Thumbing her nose at the children, she says to them: “Very good, my friends, you are getting there, have more courage, you are nearly touching them!” (Très bon ! mes amis ! vous y êtes ! un peu de courage ! vous touchez presque !)

Cham - Le Charivari – News 592, c. 1865

Cham (France, 1819-1879). Le Charivari – News 592: A Good Joke (Actualités 592: Une bonne plaisanterie), c. 1865. Courtesy of Private Collection, London. | A signpost suggests that the location of this incident is the Ionian Islands, and the caricature is inscribed “A Good Joke” (Une bonne plaisanterie). The British statesman of the Liberal Party William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) bends over the Evzone, and says to him: “My dear Greek!… keep quiet and continue to lie under Great Britain!…” (Mon cher Grec ! …tenez-vous tranquille et continuez de vous reposer sur la Grande Bretagne ! …).

Frank Brangwyn - Launching a Battle Cruiser

Sir Frank Brangwyn (Belgium, 1867-1956). Launching a Battle Cruiser, c. 1915. Duotone lithograph on paper, 64 x 50. Courtesy of Robert A. Christoforides, London. | During the First World War, Sir Frank Brangwyn designed a great number of posters, which he sold as prints to raise money for the war effort. His bold, vigorous and extrovert art was suited to the expansive spirit of late-Victorian British society. Aiming to protect the British Empire’s sea-lanes, Admiral John Fisher, the Royal Navy’s First Sea Lord, masterminded the battle cruiser, a large and modern warship that made its appearance in 1908. “HMS Incomparable” was the name given by Fisher to a proposal for a very large such warship that was suggested in 1915. Despite research into the concept, it never came close to being built, largely owing to impossible costs. This print is a fantasy portrayal of the launching of an enormous battle cruiser that dwarfs the three-funnel ship before it. Ashore a group of shipyard workers proudly introduce the fruit of their labour to Britannia. The picture’s drama is accentuated by the light rays that beam from the couple of immense masts down and around the otherwise dark scene. Such works were propaganda for the national effort against any threat to the country and the empire at large.

Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake (England, b. 1932). Found Art: Britannia, 2011. Digital print with silkscreen glaze, 122 x 102. Courtesy of Ferdy Carabott Collection, London. | Peter Blake’s Found Artseries is based upon one of the most original tenets of pop art – that everyday objects can become the subject matter for fine art. The artist focuses upon common objects to which people are indifferent because they consider them valueless. His studio is famed for being close to a museum of popular culture objects and printed ephemera. He wants us to see these objects in a new way – as art. An interest in ‘outsider’ art has always been integral to his work. The magnification at which he submits these objects allows us to appreciate the beauty of their design, their fragility and their textural quality. Here, Blake brings to our attention what looks like a page from an 18thcentury document like a diary, with a composition of collaged cut-outs of contemporary hand-coloured engravings. Central amongst the cut-outs is Britannia. In the periphery around her are various other subjects serving to fill the space of the page, a playing card on all four sides and a pair of equestrian figures and the before-and-after of a lover relationship in the corners. This Found Artis an intriguing piece with the quality of an early naïve North American curiosity, here probably concerned with Britannia as a ‘hangover’ from British imperialism. Interestingly, the branch that Britannia holds out is clearly from an olive, evocative of Athena’s connection to this tree. Enlarged to a monumental degree, this relic image, comparable to the classical ruins, is a permanent reminder of the vanity of things.

Banksy - One Nation Under CCTV, 2009

Banksy (England, b. 1974). One Nation Under CCTV, 2009. Mixed media installation. | In 2009 it was documented that 4.2 million closed-circuit television cameras operated in Britain, making this nation the most watched society in the world. Effective CCTV schemes are an invaluable source of crime detection and evidence for the police (in 2009 Scotland Yard used CCTV footage as evidence for 95% of murder cases). Still, concerns remain about surveillance systems’ potential to violate personal privacy. The graffiti artist Banksy, whose work touches on political issues, showed One Nation Under CCTVat the “Banksy Versus Bristol Museum Summer Show”, held at the Bristol City Museum & Gallery, 13 June – 31 August 2009. Here, in a sarcastic spirit he criticises the use of CCTV cameras and pulls off a rather daring protest. Against the British flag and atop a classical pedestal, soiled by graffiti and splashed paint, he props up a custom-made picture of Britannia seated next to Landseer’s Lion. Here the trident’s finial is replaced by a CCTV camera guarded underneath by a ring of spikes.

Public Information

“Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Historical Perspective
Curated by Megakles Rogakos

Opening: 8pm, Saturday, 7 July 2018
Duration: 7 – 29 July 2018
Venue: Ionian Academy, 1 Kapodistriou & Akadimias Street, 49100 Corfu, Greece
www.ionio.gr/en/prospective/university-history
Opening Hours: 8.30am – 9pm daily, except Sunday
Communication: Mrs Dionysia Karvouni, +30 26610 87129, int_rel@ionio.gr
Visuals:vwww.corfuheritagefoundation.org/prossalendis-britannia-historic/
Reservation: Eventbrite

Events

Bicentenary of the OSMSG - poster
PRESS RELEASE

Corfu Festival for the Bicentenary of the Order of St Michael and St George 1818 – 2018

CORFU.- As it is well known, George IV, as Prince Regent of the United Kingdom, founded the Order of St Michael and St George in Corfu and in Malta on 28 April 1818, two hundred years ago. This forms part of Corfu’s history and belongs to its heritage. In fact, the history of the Order begins with the visions of Sir Thomas Maitland (1760-1824), Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands and Governor of Malta after the Napoleonic Wars.

Count Spiro Flamburiari, Chairman of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, has had the inspiration to honour the bicentenary of the Order this year with a Festival aiming to boost British-Hellenic relations in Corfu. His whole life has been devoted to the promotion of the island and its prosperity, and to highlight the significance of its heritage.

The Festival takes place under the auspices of the British Embassy Athens, the Hellenic Republic’s Ministries of Culture and Tourism, and the Municipality of Corfu. Events – including 5 lectures, 2 brass band concerts, 3 visual art exhibitions and 1 cricket match – will take place between 7 July and 30 September 2018.

 

Lectures at the Corfu Reading Society.

3 August – Mr Derek Johns,  “Romanticism – A Brief Introduction”.

6 August – HE Ms Kate Smith CMG, “British-Hellenic Friendship in Corfu”.

24 August – Ms Helena Matheopoulos, “Music in 1818”.

28 August – Sir Efthimios E. Mitropoulos KCMG, “The Order of St Michael and St George”.

4 September – Mr Nicholas Parsons CBE, “Edward Lear – Artist ∙ Poet ∙ Wanderer”.

 

Music by the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society curated by Mr Robert A. Christoforides.

5 August – Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Esplanade’s Band Stand.

7 September – Mr Socrates Anthis will direct the Wind Band at the Old Fortress.

 

Exhibitions at the  Ionian Academy curated by Dr Megakles Rogakos.

7 – 29 July – “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Historical Perspective.

2 – 26 August – “Romanticism in Corfu”.

1 – 29 September – “Prossalendi’s Britannia” – Contemporary Perspective.

 

Cricket Matches organised by Sir Simon Orr-Ewing Bt and Mr Nikos Louvros.

13 May – Matches between the Lost Marbles and the Atlas CC Cricket Corfu teams.

 

Read more about al the contributors to the events here. PRESS RELEASE

 

 

Auspices:
British Embassy Athens

 

Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Culture & Sports

 

Hellenic Republic - Ministry of Tourism

 

Municipality of Corfu

 

Support:
Ionian University

 

Corfu Reading Society

 

Mantzaros Philharmonic Society

 

Cricket Corfu

 

Sponsorship:
Rothschild Foundation

 

Aegeas N.P.C.

 

Fourlis Group

 

www.thethink.co.uk

 

CV Villas

 

Cavalieri Hotel

 

MarBella Corfu

 

MarBella Nido

 

Corfu Country Club

 

Aegean Airlines

 

Communication  Sponsorship:

 

Kathimerini

 

Corfu TV

 

Start TV

 

Kerkyra Publications

 

Economia

 

Corfu Tourist