Romanticism in Corfu

“Romanticism in Corfu” curated by Megakles Rogakos at the Ionian Academy, Corfu (2 – 26 August 2018) Eventbrite

 

Romanticism in Corfu

 

“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 Straights, 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 before depth.]

 

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. 1850. 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

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