Commemoration of the Miracle of Saint Spyridon, 11th of August

By Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD

The Miracle of Saint Spyridon concerns the salvation of Corfu from the Ottomans, when they threatened the island with a powerful and destructive siege that took place on 8 July – 21 August 1716.

Saint Spyridon (270-348), Bishop of Trimythous, is one of the most beloved saints of the Orthodox Church. He was born in Askeia, Cyprus, where he worked as a shepherd and was known for his great piety. Taking part in the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325, he defended the doctrine of the Holy Trinity as concerning three entities, but only one God. When Constantinople fell to the Ottomans in 1453, Saint Spyridon’s relics were removed to Corfu, where they remain in the Saint Spyridon Church to this day still incorrupt.

After the end of the Russo-Turkish war (1710-1711), the emboldened Ottoman leadership turned its focus on Venice, declaring war on 9 December 1714. The Venetians were well aware of Ottoman ambitions to capture the Ionian Islands and that Corfu was a supreme target. Preparing for the inevitable confrontation, the Venetian Senate appointed Andrea Pisani, already in Corfu, as Superintendent General of the Sea in 1715. In February 1716, the Saxon field marshal, Count Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg arrived on the island as commander-in-chief of the Venetian forces set about strengthening the fortifications with palisades, trenches and field works. On 5 July the Ottoman fleet of 62 ships anchored in the Corfu Channel, between the northeastern promontory of the island and the mainland, and began preparing for the siege. An Ottoman army of 30,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry had gathered on the mainland shore at Butrint, ready to be ferried across the Corfu Channel by the fleet. At a critical moment of the siege, on 11 August, a fierce storm broke out that wrought havoc with the Ottoman fleet, with winds unmooring the ships and throwing them towards the shore. Undeterred, the Ottomans reorganised their forces on 20 August to resume their assault on the fortification, but on the next day, a Spanish squadron of six ships and news of the imminent arrival of a Portuguese squadron of nine ships was decisive. The serasker Kara Mustafa Pasha received urgent orders to wrap up operations so that his men could replenish the Ottoman forces in the northern Balkans. The Ottomans lost some 15,000 dead in Corfu, along with 56 cannons and eight mortars and large quantities of material, which they abandoned.

The Corfiots attribute the Ottoman withdrawal to the intervention of their patron Saint Spyridon and his miraculous storm. Every year, on 11 August, Corfu celebrates, with pomp and circumstance, the victory of the Venetian alliance against the Ottomans, on their last attack. To commemorate such a triumphant victory of the West, Count Spiro Flamburiari, Chairman of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, commissioned an 8-metre tall stone Obelisk to adorn the new junction of the Corfu Port Authority Company at Mantouki.

Message from the Governor of the Region of Ionian Islands, Mrs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, to the President of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, Count Spiro Flaburiari.

Corfu, 11 August 2022

[Translation of the Governor’s message above by Megakles Rogakos]

Dear and esteemed Spiro,

Happy returns and with the blessing of Saint Spyridon!

Today’s anniversary with its historical and religious content is particularly related to you. Celebrations and litanies take place every year, but the significance of this historic day for Corfu and Hellenism is highlighted and honoured by you, of course, more than any other Corfiot! You try and struggle with existing but also unexpected obstacles, to give it the added value it deserves.

I hope the outcome may be positive and your offer may be honoured.

With love,


First Visit of Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Corfu

Corfu has reason to commemorate the benefit it received from the British Protection of the period 1814-1864, during which pivotal projects were completed, such as the road network (1814), the Ionian Academy (1824), the Palace of St Michael and St George (1824), the Aqueduct (1827), the covered Agora/Markas (1829), the Mon Repos (1831), the Penitentiary (1832), the Corfu Reading Society (1836), the Psychiatric Hospital (1838), the Ionian Bank (1839), the Ionian High School (1839), the Anglican Church of St George (1840), the Stock Exchange/Borsa (1841), the Ionian Parliament (1855) and the construction of cemeteries – the British (1814) and the Catholic (1836).

The main goal of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, founded in 2000 by Count Spiro Flamburiari, is to present and promote Anglo-Hellenic friendship. On his initiative, the President invited Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Mr Matthew Lodge, to visit Corfu to attend such an important function.

Recently Lord Jacob Rothschild and Count Spiro Flamburiari jointly donated to the Ionian University the portrait (1830/2022) and the degree (1819) of Guilford, the ardent philhellene, visionary and founder of the Ionian Academy in 1824. These gifts were accepted by the Senate of the University with gratitude and they organised a relevant unveiling on 7 May 2022 at the Rectorate. The event took place in all its glory. It was preceded by period music presented by the Ionian Camerata, after which the Rector, Professor Andreas Floros, the Ambassador, Mr Lodge, and the President, Count Flamburiari, addressed greetings. In his short speech, the President pointed out the love of both the donors for Corfu and the need to find imitators to support its heritage. Afterwards, speeches were made about the personality of Guilford on behalf of the University by Professor Emeritus Helen Angelomatis-Tsougarakis and about the valuable donation that secured two historical artefacts for the future on behalf of the Foundation by the Art Historian Dr Megakles Rogakos.

HM Ambassador Mr Matthew Lodge was hosted by the President at the Cavalieri Hotel, near the Rectorate, at the Upper Esplanade. At noon on Saturday, the President arranged for the Ambassador to visit the Corfu Reading Society, the oldest literary institution in Greece, of which he happens to be the Honorary President. The Ambassador was honoured by the presence of the Society’s President Mr Thanassis Makris, Director Mr Dimitris Zymaris and members of the Administrative Committee – Mrs Martha Athineou, Mrs Gioia Provata, Mr Dimitris Theotokis and Mr Spyros Ziniatis. Mr Makris referred to the history of the Society as the oldest literary institution in Greece, with uninterrupted operation since 1836, developing a social, educational, political and patriotic character and occupying an important place in the intellectual and social life of the Ionian area. He also mentioned that in the collections of the Society the Guildford Archive, which includes part of the correspondence kept by the English philhellene with many important personalities of Hellenism, holds a special place.

On the morning of Sunday, 8 May, the President accompanied the Ambassador on their visit to the Capodistria Museum in “Koukouritsa”, the family estate in the heart of Corfu. There he was welcomed by the President of the Museum, Mr Makris, and was guided to the exhibits by the Curator of the collection, Mr Zymaris. In his tour, the Curator noted that the Museum is the only one dedicated to the great Corfiot, Greek and European politician of the 19th century. The tour followed the course of Capodistria’s life, in a narrative that began with his childhood in Corfu and culminated with his murder in Nafplio. Inspired by the wonderful experience, the Ambassador noted the following in his guestbook:

“A beautifully presented museum and a memorial to a very inspiring European statesman. I am enormously grateful for this opportunity and offer my warmest congratulations. The story of Ioannis Capodistria holds many lessons and examples for us today. I hope others will continue to learn about this remarkable man and his unique contribution to the foundation of the modern Greek state. Thank you for the privilege. Matthew Lodge, HM Ambassador, 8 May 2022”

The Ambassador left Corfu with the best impressions, making the President the commitment that he will support him in his vision of caring for the cultural bridge between England and Greece, as well as the promise that he will bring the events for the 200th anniversary of the founding of the University in 2024 under the auspices of the British Embassy in Athens.

Πρώτη επίσκεψη του Πρέσβη της Αυτής Μεγαλειότητας στην Κέρκυρα

Η Κέρκυρα έχει λόγο να μνημονεύει την ωφέλεια που εισέπραξε από τη Βρετανική Προστασία της περιόδου 1814-1864, περίοδος κατά την οποία ήλθαν σε πέρας κομβικά έργα, όπως η ρυμοτομία (1814), η Ιόνιος Ακαδημία (1824), το Ανάκτορο Αγίου Μιχαήλ και Γεωργίου (1824), το Υδραγωγείο (1827), η σκεπαστή Αγορά/Μαρκάς (1829), το Μον Ρεπό (1831), το Σωφρονιστήριο (1832), η Αναγνωστική Εταιρία Κερκύρας (1836), το Ψυχιατρείο (1838), η Ιονική Τράπεζα (1839), το Ιόνιο Γυμνάσιο (1839), ο Αγγλικανικός Ναός Αγίου Γεωργίου (1840), το Χρηματιστήριο/Μπόρσα (1841), η Ιόνιος Βουλή (1855) και τα κοιμητήρια – το Βρετανικό (1814) και το Καθολικό (1836).

Βασικός στόχος του του Ιδρύματος Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς, που ίδρυσε το 2000 ο Κόμης Σπύρος Φλαμπουριάρης, είναι η προβολή και προαγωγή της ελληνοαγλλικής φιλίας. Με πρωτοβουλία του ο Πρόεδρος προσκάλεσε τον Πρέσβη της Αυτής Μεγαλειόητας, κο Μάθιου Λοτζ, να επισκεφθεί την Κέρκυρα για να παρευρεθεί σε μία τέτοια εμβληματική εκδήλωση.

Από κοινού ο Λόρδος Τζέικομπ Ρόθτσαϊλντ και ο Κόμης Σπύρος Φλαμπουριάρης δώρησαν στο Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο την προσωπογραφία (1830/2022) και το πτυχίο (1819) του Γκίλφορντ, ο ένθερμος φιλέλληνας, οραματιστής και ιδρυτής της Ιονίου Ακαδημίας το 1824. Τα δώρα αυτά αποδέχτηκε η Σύγκλητος του πανεπιστημίου με ευγνωμοσύνη και οργάνωσε σχετικά αποκαλυπτήρια στις 7 Μαΐου 2022 στην Πρυτανεία. Η εκδήλωση έλαβε χώρα με κάθε λαμπρότητα. Προηγήθηκε μουσική εποχής που παρουσίασε η Ιόνιος Καμεράτα, μετά απηύθυναν χαιρετισμό ο Πρύτανης, Καθηγητής Ανδρέας Φλώρος, ο Πρέσβης, κος Λότζ, και ο Πρόεδρος, Κόμης Φλαμπουριάρης. Στον σύντομο λόγο του ο Πρόεδρος επεσήμανε την αγάπη και των δύο δωρητών για την Κέρκυρα και την ανάγκη εξεύρεσης μιμητών τους προς υποστήριξη της κληρονομιάς της. Μετά έγιναν ομιλίες για την προσωπικότητα του Γκίλφορντ εκ μέρους του Πανεπιστημίου από την Ομότιμη Καθηγήτρια κα Ελένη Αγγελομάτη-Τσουγκαράκη και για την πολύτιμη δωρεά που εξασφάλισε δύο ιστορικά τεκμήρια για το μέλλον εκ μέρους του Ιδρύματος από τον Ιστορικό Τέχνης Δρα Μεγακλή Ρογκάκο. 

Ο Πρέσβης κος Μάθιου Λοτζ φιλοξενήθηκε από τον Πρόεδρο στο Ξενοδοχείο Καβαλιέρι, πλησίον της Πρυτανίας, στην Άνω Σπιανάδα. Το μεσημέρι του Σαββάτου, ο Πρόεδρος φρόντισε ο Πρέσβης να επισκεφθεί την Αναγνωστική Εταιρία Κερκύρας, το αρχαιότερο φιλολογικό ίδρυμα της Ελλάδας, του οποίου τυγχάνει να είναι Επίτιμος Πρόεδρος. Τον Πρέσβη τίμησαν με την παρουσία τους οι Πρόεδρος της Εταιρίας κος Θανάσης Μακρής, Διευθυντής κος Δημήτρης Ζυμάρης και μέλη της Διοικητικής Επιτροπής – κα Μάρθα Αθηναίου, κα Τζόγια Προβατά, Δρ Δημήτρης Θεοτόκης και κος Σπύρος Ζηνιάτης. Ο κος Μακρής αναφέρθηκε στην ιστορία της Εταιρίας ως το παλαιότερο πνευματικό ίδρυμα της Ελλάδας, με αδιάλειπτη λειτουργία από το 1836, αναπτύσσοντας έναν κοινωνικό, μορφωτικό, πολιτικό και πατριωτικό χαρακτήρα και κατέχοντας σημαντική θέση στην πνευματική και κοινωνική ζωή του Ιονίου χώρου. Επίσης ανέφερε ότι στις συλλογές της Εταιρίας το Αρχείο Γκίλφορντ, που περιλαμβάνει μέρος της αλληλογραφίας που διατηρούσε ο Άγγλος φιλέλληνας με πολλές σημαίνουσες προσωπικότητες του ελληνισμού, κατέχει ξεχωριστή θέση.

Το πρωί της Κυριακής, 8 Μαΐου, ο Πρόεδρος συνόδευσε τον Πρέσβη σε επίσκεψή τους στο Μουσείο Καποδίστρια στην «Κουκουρίτσα», το κτήμα της οικογενείας στη μέση Κέρκυρα. Εκεί τον υποδέχθηκε ο Πρόεδρος του Μουσείου, κος Μακρής, και τον ξενάγησε στα εκθέματα ο Επιμελητής της συλλογής, κος Ζυμάρης. Στην ξενάγησή του ο Επιμελητής σημείωσε ότι το Μουσείο είναι το μοναδικό που αφιερώνεται στον μεγάλο Κερκυραίο, Έλληνα και Ευρωπαίο πολιτικό του 19ου αιώνα. Η ξενάγηση ακολούθησε την πορεία της ζωής του Καποδίστρια, σε μία αφήγηση που ξεκίνησε από τα παιδικά του χρόνια στην Κέρκυρα και κορυφώθηκε με τη δολοφονία του στο Ναύπλιο. Εμπνευσμένος από τη θαυμάσια εμπερία, ο Πρέσβης σημείωσε στο βιβλίο επισκεπτών τα εξής:

«Ένα όμορφα παρουσιασμένο μουσείο και ένα μνημείο για έναν πολύ εμπνευσμένο Ευρωπαίο πολιτικό. Είμαι πολύ ευγνώμων για αυτήν την ευκαιρία και προσφέρω τα θερμά μου συγχαρητήρια. Η ιστορία του Ιωάννη Καποδίστρια μας προσφέρει πολλά μαθήματα και παραδείγματα σήμερα. Ελπίζω και άλλοι να συνεχίσουν να μαθαίνουν για αυτόν τον αξιόλογο άνθρωπο και τη μοναδική συνεισφορά του στην ίδρυση του νεώτερου ελληνικού κράτους. Σας ευχαριστώ για το προνόμιο. Μάθιου Λοτζ, Πρέσβης της Αυτής Μεγαλειότητας, 8 Μαΐου 2022»

Ο Πρέσβης αποχώρησε από την Κέρκυρα με τις καλύτερες των εντυπώσεων δίδοντας στον Πρόεδρο τη δέσμευσή του ότι θα τον ενισχύσει στο όραμα του να φροντίζει την πολιτιστική γέφυρα μεταξύ Αγγλίας και Ελλάδας καθώς και την υπόσχεση ότι θα φέρει τις εκδηλώσεις για τη 200ή επέτειο της ίδρυσης του Πανεπιστημίου το 2024 υπό την αιγίδα της Βρετανικής Πρεσβείας στην Αθήνα.

HM Ambassador’s visit to the Corfu Reading Society, 7 May 2022. From left to right: Mr Dimitris Zymaris, Mrs Gioia Provata, Dr Dimitris Theotokis, Mr Thanassis Makris, Mr Matthew Lodge, Count Spiro Flamburiari, Mrs Martha Athineou and Mr Spiros Ziniatis.
HM Ambassador at the entrance of the Cavalieri Hotel, 7 May 2022. From Left to right: Mr Matthew Lodge, Mrs Alison Turney, Countess Milly Flamburiari, Count Spiro Flamburiari and Professor Joanna Poyago-Theotoky.
The Portrait and Degree of Guilford at the Rectorate, 7 May 2022. From left to right: Professor Andreas Floros, Count Spiro Flamburiari and Mr Mathew Lodge.
The Portrait and Degree of Guilford at the Rectorate, 7 May 2022. From left to right: Professor Andreas Floros, Mrs Meropi-Spyrdoula Ydraiou and Count Spiro Flamburiari.
The Portrait and Degree of Guilford at the Rectorate, 7 May 2022. From left to right: various people including Prof. Yarenis, Prof. Metallinos, Prof. Angelomatis-Tsougarakis, Mrs Ydraiou, Dr Rogakos, Mr Lodge, Prof. Floros, Count & Countess Flamburiari.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. From left to right: Mr Dimitris Zymaris, Mr Thanassis Makris, Count Spiro Flamburiari and Mr Matthew Lodge.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. From left to right: Mr Thanassis Makris and Mr Matthew Lodge.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. From left to right: Mr Matthew Lodge and Count Spiro Flamburiari.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. Mr Mathew Lodge inscribing the visitor book.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. Mr Mathew Lodge inscribing the visitor book.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. Mr Mathew Lodge’s inscription in the visitor book.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. From left to right: Mr Matthew Lodge and Count Spiro Flamburiari.
HM Ambassador visit to the Capodistria Museum, 8 May 2022. From left to right: Mr Matthew Lodge and Count Spiro Flamburiari.
“Unveiling of Guilford’s Exhibits at the Ionian Academy”, Enimerosi, 10 May 2022, p. 11.
“Guilford’s Portrai in the Ionian Academy”, Kerkyra Simera, 10 May 2022, p. 4.

The Ionian University honours Guilford


The portrait of Lord Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827), as well as the degree awarded to him by the University of Oxford in 1819, as part of the honoured person’s efforts to establish and organise the Ionian Academy, now adorn the Ionian University, after the acceptance by the Senate of the Academic Foundation of the donation of the President of the Rothschild Foundation, Lord Jacob Rothschild, and the President of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, Count Spiro Flamburiari.

The exhibits for the tribute to Guilford have been placed in the reception hall of the Rectorate of the Ionian University, on the ground floor of the Ionian Academy, from 4 April 2022.

The exhibits include an enlarged portrait of Guilford, founder of the Ionian Academy, incised by Pietro Mancion (1803-1888) around 1830, and the Degree of Doctor of Civil Law, awarded by the University of Oxford to Guilford as recognition of the British philhellene -although he declared himself a Hellene and not Philhellene- to establish the Ionian Academy, which officially took place on 29 May 1824.

According to the information officer of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, Dr Megakles Rogakos, the portrait is inspired by the bust of Guilford that the Corfiot sculptor Pavlos Prosalentis (1784-1837) crafted in marble and adorned the library of the Ionian Academy until its destruction in the bombing of Corfu by Luftwaffe, the German Air Force, on 13 September 1943.

The work of the archival mounting was overseen by the conservator of works of art Spyridoula Prifti, while the back of the degree is a donation of the Director of the Printshop Corfu Nikos Zabelis.

The degree is inscribed in the official Latin language and states the following: “The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford, all to whom the present Document shall come, everlasting greetings in the Lord. Since the most honourable Lord Frederick Earl of Guilford, Baron Guilford distinguished in rank, intellect and study of humane pursuits, has auspiciously enhanced the glory and honours of his ancestors, and has given exceptional service both to this university and, especially, to all Greek universities. And since he has been elevated to the highest office and dignity of the Chancellorship in the Academy established by his own counsels in the Ionian Islands, be it known that we, the Chancellor, Masters and Scholars, praying for all that is favourable and auspicious for him and for his Academy, adorning with our greatest honour the aforesaid man, being distinguished with such great and varied merits, appoint and announce this same most honourable Lord, Lord Frederick, Earl of Guildford, Baron Guildford, as a Doctor of Civil Law, and desire him to enjoy and rejoice in all rights and privileges of the doctorate. As evidence whereof we have affixed hereto the common Seal of the University of Oxford, used for this function. Announced in our Convocation House on the thirtieth of October 1819.” [Translation by Barnaby Taylor, MA MSt DPhil Oxford – Faculty of Classics – University of Oxford]

Lord Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766-1827) – British classicist scholar and collector of rare books and manuscripts; son of the 2nd Earl of Guilford; first British governor of Ceylon 1798-1805; and founder of the Ionian Academy, Corfu, 1824 – was a great philhellene, known above all for his philhellenic activity, especially during his life in the British protectorate of the United States of the Ionian Islands (1815-1827). In spite of the fact that the Ionian Academy was short-lived and eclipsed by the Union in 1864, it was the first Greek academic institution of modern times and forerunner of the University of Athens. Guilford promoted not just classical Greek culture but helped establish modern Greek as a language of education. His fascination with all things Greek had led him, earlier in life, to become a member of the Orthodox Church, secretly, at the instigation of Georgios Prosalentis. The Megas Protopapas Dimitrios Petrettinis (1722-1795) baptised Guilford in the Orthodox faith in the Petrettinis House, at 10 Kapodistriou Street, on 23 January 1791, at the age of 25, giving him the name “Dimitrios”. He later became a member of the British House of Commons and the first British governor of Ceylon, before becoming involved in his Ionian project. The unveiling of the portrait of Lord Guilford and the degree awarded to him by the University of Oxford in 1819 is expected to take place at a special event to be held at the Ionian University on Saturday, 7 May 2022.

The unveiling of the portrait of Lord Guilford and the degree awarded to him by the University of Oxford in 1819 is expected to take place at a special event to be held at the Rectorate of the Ionian University at 7pm on Saturday, 7 May 2022.

The Donation of Guilford’s Portrait and Degree at the Ionian University

By Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD

At the Corfu Reading Society, the visitor discerns with respect the portrait of Guilford. A small and rare engraving of a great and unique personality – the English aristocrat and politician, who put into effect his vision to establish the first Greek university. It is exhibited centrally in the Reading Hall and – for those who know about him – it notionally dominates the whole room and potentially beyond it. Its creator is largely unknown – a Pietro Mancion (1803-1888), born in Ragusa and active in Rome. It is a portrait of Guilford based on the famous marble bust of 1827, the year of his death, by Pavlos Prosalentis (1784-1837). This important sculpture adorned the staircase of the Academy library until it was destroyed in the bombing of Corfu in 1943, which was a tragedy comparable to the infamous Guernica. The marble fragments of the bust are probably buried in the foundations of the building that currently serves as the University’s Rectorate. This particular engraving is important because it captures the lost bust rather with photographic fidelity.

Guilford looks out with the prestige of the Archon / Rector and is anciently dressed as a Doctor of Law, to a design by Prosalentis himself. According to a description in a letter to his sister Anne, written at Otranto on 1 June 1824, he is wearing a white tunic and a purple robe that a golden flower-shaped buckle props on his shoulder. A distinct accessory is the ancient means of keeping the rich lateral hair of his head fixed. He writes characteristically: “However, instead of Odysseus’ hat, I wore around my head a narrow black velvet ribbon embroidered on the front with gold laurel leaves and a golden owl” (British Library, Add. MS 61983, p. 129). This phrase on the one hand betrays his acquaintance with Homer. On the other hand, it refers to the central position of the owl, the bird of prey that successfully hunts even in deep darkness, as an emblem of the Ionian Academy’s aim to throw in the darkness of ignorance the light of wisdom. The coat of arms of the University in perpetuity shows the owl that stands upright on a laurel branch. As is well known, Guilford always wore the ring with the Athenian owl donated to him by the Philomuse Society of Athens since his election as its President in 1814.

The creation of the original engraving is so rich in visual information that it permitted its enlargement approximately to the size of the bust, with a height of 90 cm, as its copy, also of 1827, made by Ioannis Kalosgouros (1794-1878) and kept in National Gallery in Athens, preserves. With the kind sponsorship of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, the presence of the bust in the Rectorate is restored.

The portrait is accompanied by the Doctorate of Law awarded to Guilford by the University of Oxford on 30 October 1819 – a manuscript on vellum with tasselled ribbon supporting the wax seal of the university within a George III silver-gilt oval box by William Bateman, London. The cover is finely engraved with the coat of arms of the university, flanked by a doctoral cap. The parchment also mentions the most important reason for the graduate’s honour – his care to establish the Academy in the Ionian Islands, which was to take place five years later (1824).

Guilford deserves the highest honour. He loved Greece and the Greeks more than any other Greek. He enjoyed the support of the Greek revolutionaries who saw the founding of the Academy as part of the reconstruction of the nation and the regeneration of Greece. In his vision and work, of course, he had the support of Ioannis Kapodistrias. Guilford’s relationship with the Ionian University is renewed with this donation. The praise for the due honour goes to the Rector, Professor Andreas Floros. Thanks for the important donation to the President of the Rothschild Foundation, Lord Jacob Rothschild and to the President of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, Count Spiro Flamburiari. Greetings to the British Ambassador, Mr Matthew Lodz, who guarantees the perpetuity of Anglo-Hellenic friendship.

Corfu, 7 May 2022


Το Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο τιμά τον Γκίλφορντ

Η προσωπογραφία του Λόρδου Φρέντερικ Νορθ, 5ου Κόμη του Γκίλφορντ (1766-1827), καθώς και το πτυχίο που του απένειμε το Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης το 1819, στο πλαίσιο των προσπαθειών του τιμωμένου για ίδρυση και οργάνωση της Ιονίου Ακαδημίας, κοσμούν πλέον το Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο μετά την αποδοχή από τη Σύγκλητο του Ακαδημαϊκού Ιδρύματος της δωρεάς του Προέδρου του Ιδρύματος Ρόθτσαϊλντ, Λόρδου Τζέικομπ Ρόθτσαϊλντ, και του Προέδρου του Ιδρύματος Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς, Κόμη Σπύρου Φλαμπουριάρη.

Τα εκθέματα για το αφιέρωμα στον Γκίλφορντ, έχουν τοποθετηθεί στην αίθουσα υποδοχής της Πρυτανείας του Ιονίου Πανεπιστημίου, στο ισόγειο της Ιονίου Ακαδημίας, από τις 4 Απριλίου 2022.

Πρόκειται για μία μεγεθυμένη προσωπογραφία του Γκίλφορντ, ιδρυτή της Ιονίου Ακαδημίας, που χάραξε ο Πιέτρο Μανθιόν (1803-1888) περίπου το 1830, και για το Πτυχίο Διδάκτορα Aστικού Δικαίου, που το Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης απένειμε στον Γκύλφορντ το 1819, ως αναγνώριση των προσπαθειών του Βρετανού φιλέλληνα -μολονότι ο ίδιος δήλωνε Έλλην και όχι Φιλέλλην- να ιδρύσει την Ιόνιο Ακαδημία, γεγονός που επισήμως έλαβε χώρα την 29η Μαΐου 1824.

Όπως αναφέρει ο υπεύθυνος επικοινωνίας του Ιδρύματος Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς, Δρ Μεγακλής Ρογκάκος, η προσωπογραφία είναι εμπνευσμένη από την προτομή του Γκίλφορντ που φιλοτέχνησε σε μάρμαρο ο Κερκυραίος γλύπτης Παύλος Προσαλέντης (1784-1837) και κοσμούσε τη Βιβλιοθήκη της Ιονίου Ακαδημίας μέχρι την καταστροφή της κατά τον βομβαρδισμό της Κερκύρας από τη Λουφτβάφε, τη γερμανική πολεμική αεροπορία, στις 13 Σεπτεμβρίου 1943.

Το έργο της αρχειακής ανάρτησης φρόντισε η συντηρήτρια έργων τέχνης Σπυριδούλα Πρίφτη, ενώ η πλάτη που υποδέχτηκε το πτυχίο είναι δωρεά του Διευθυντή του Τυπογραφείου Κερκύρας Νίκου Ζαμπέλη.

Το πτυχίο αναγράφεται στην επίσημη λατινική γλώσσα και αναφέρει τα εξής: «Ὁ Καγκελάριος, οἱ Διδάσκαλοι καὶ Μελετητὲς τοῦ Πανεπιστημίου τῆς Ὀξφόρδης στοὺς ὁποίους θὰ φθάσει τὸ παρόν Ἔγγραφο, αἰώνιοι χαιρετισμοὶ ἐν Κυρίῳ. Ἐφόσον ὁ πλέον ἀξιότιμος Λόρδος Φρέντερικ Κόμης τοῦ Γκίλφορντ, Βαρόνος Γκίλφορντ, διακεκριμένος σὲ βαθμό, διάνοια καὶ μελέτη ἀνθρωπιστικῶν ἀναζητήσεων, ἔχει αἰσίως ἀνυψώσει τὴ δόξα καὶ τὶς τιμές τῶν προγόνων του, καὶ ἔχει προσφέρει ἐξαιρετικὲς ὑπηρεσίες τόσο σὲ αὐτὸ τὸ πανεπιστήμιο ὅσο καί, ἰδίως, σὲ ὅλα τὰ ἑλληνικὰ πανεπιστήμια καὶ ἀφοῦ ἀνῆλθε στὸ ὑψηλότερο ἀξίωμα καὶ τίτλο τῆς Καγκελαρίας στὴν Ἀκαδημία ποὺ ἱδρύθηκε ἀπὸ τὶς δικές του φροντίδες στὶς Ἰόνιες Νήσους. Ἂς γίνει γνωστὸ ὅτι ἐμεῖς, ὁ Καγκελάριος, οἱ Διδάσκαλοι καὶ Μελετητές, προσευχόμενοι γιὰ ὅ,τι εἶναι εὐνοϊκὸ καὶ αἴσιο γιὰ αὐτὸν καὶ γιὰ τὴν Ἀκαδημία του, κοσμώντας μὲ τὴ μεγαλύτερη τιμή μας τὸν προαναφερθέντα ἄνδρα, ποὺ διακρίνεται γιὰ τόσο μεγάλα καὶ ποικίλα πλεονεκτήματα, διορίζουμε καὶ ἀνακηρύσσουμε αὐτὸν τὸν πιὸ ἀξιότιμο Λόρδο, Λόρδο Φρέντερικ, Κόμη τοῦ Γκίλφορντ, Βαρόνο Γκίλφορντ, ὡς Δόκτορα Ἀστικοῦ Δικαίου, καὶ τὸν θέλουμε νὰ ἀπολαμβάνει καὶ νὰ χαίρει ὃλων τῶν δικαιωμάτων καὶ τῶν προνομίων τοῦ διδακτορικοῦ αὐτοῦ τίτλου. Ὡς ἀπόδειξη τοῦ ὡς ἄνω ἐπισυνάπτουμε ἐδῶ τὴν κοινὴ Σφραγίδα τοῦ Πανεπιστημίου τῆς Ὀξφόρδης, ποὺ ἐπικυρώνει αὐτὀ τὸ ἀξίωμα. Ἀνακοινώθηκε στὴν Σύγκλητο τὴν 30ὴ Ὀκτωβρίου 1819.» [Μετάφραση Μεγακλή Ρογκάκου, MA MA PhD – Πανεπιστήμιο του Έσσεξ – Φιλοσοφία & Ιστορία της Τέχνης]

Ο Λόρδος Φρέντερικ Νορθ, 5ος Κόμης του Γκίλφορντ (1766-1827) –βρετανός κλασικιστής μελετητής και συλλέκτης σπανίων βιβλίων και χειρογράφων· υιός του 2ου Κόμη του Γκίλφορντ· πρώτος Bρετανός κυβερνήτης της Κεϋλάνης την περίοδο 1798-1805 και ιδρυτής της Ιονίου Ακαδημίας στην Κέρκυρα το 1824– υπήρξε μέγιστος φιλέλληνας, γνωστός για τη φιλελληνική δράση του, κυρίως κατά τη διάρκεια της ζωής του στη βρετανική προστασία του Ενωμένου Κράτους των Ιονίων Νήσων (1815-1827). Παρά το γεγονός ότι η Ιόνιος Ακαδημία ήταν βραχύβια και εκλείφθηκε με την Ένωση το 1864, ήταν το πρώτο ελληνικό ακαδημαϊκό ίδρυμα της νέας εποχής και πρόδρομος του Πανεπιστημίου Αθηνών. Ο Γκίλφορντ προώθησε όχι μόνο τον κλασικό ελληνικό πολιτισμό, αλλά βοήθησε να καθιερωθεί η νέα ελληνική ως γλώσσα εκπαίδευσης. Ο ζήλος του για ο,τιδήποτε ελληνικό τον είχε οδηγήσει, ενωρίτερα στη ζωή του, να γίνει μέλος της Ορθόδοξης Εκκλησίας κρυφά, με προτοροπή του Γεωργίου Προσαλέντη. Ο Μέγας Πρωτόπαπας Δημήτριος Πετρεττίνης (1722-1795) βάπτισε τον Γκίλφορντ στην Ορθόδοξη πίστη στην Οικία Πετρεττίνη, επί της Οδού Καποδιστρίου 10, τη νύχτα της 23ης Ιανουαρίου 1791, σε ηλικία 25 ετών, δίδοντάς του το όνομα «Δημήτριος». Αργότερα έγινε βουλευτής της βρετανικής Βουλής των Κοινοτήτων και πρώτος Βρετανός κυβερνήτης της Κεϋλάνης, προτού εμπλακεί στο Ιόνιο εγχείρημά του.

Τα αποκαλυπτήρια της προσωπογραφίας του Λόρδου Γκίλφορντ και του πτυχίου που του απένειμε το Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης το 1819 αναμένεται να πραγματοποιηθούν σε ειδική εκδήλωση που θα λάβει χώρα στην Πρυτανεία του Ιονίου Πανεπιστημίου στις 7μμ, το Σάββατο, 7 Μαΐου 2022.

Η Δωρεά της Προσωπογραφίας και του Πτυχίου του Γκίλφορντ στο Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο

Του Μεγακλή Ρογκάκου, MA MA PhD

Στην Αναγνωστική Εταιρία Κερκύρας, ο επισκέπτης διακρίνει με σεβασμό την προσωπογραφία του Γκίλφορντ. Ένα μικρό και σπάνιο χαρακτικό μίας τεράστιας και μοναδικής προσωπικότητας – του Άγγλου αριστοκράτη και πολιτικού, που έκανε πράξη το όραμά του να ιδρύσει το πρώτο ελληνικό πανεπιστήμιο. Εκτίθεται κεντρικά στην Αίθουσα του Αναγνωστηρίου και –για αυτούς που τον γνωρίζουν– δεσπόζει νοητά σε όλη την αίθουσα και δυνητικά πέρα από αυτήν. Ο δημιουργός της είναι εν πολλοίς άγνωστος – ένας Πιέτρο Μανθιόν (1803-1888), γεννημένος στην Ραγούσα και ενεργός στη Ρώμη. Είναι μία προσωπογραφία του Γκίλφορντ που φιλοτεχνήθηκε με βάση την περίφημη μαρμάρινη προτομή του 1827, έτος του θανάτου του, από τον Παύλο Προσαλέντη (1784-1837). Αυτό το σημαντικό γλυπτό κοσμούσε το κλιμακοστάσιο της βιβλιοθήκης της Ακαδημίας μέχρι που καταστράφηκε στον βομβαρδισμό της Κερκύρας το 1943, που ήταν τραγωδία ανάλογη της διαβόητης Γκερνίκα. Τα μαρμάρινα θραύσματα της προτομής είναι μάλλον θαμμένα στα θεμέλια του κτιρίου που επί του παρόντος λειτουργεί ως Πρυτανεία του Πανεπιστημίου. Το συγκεκριμένο χαρακτικό έχει σημασία διότι καταγράφει μάλλον με φωτογραφική πιστότητα τη χαμένη προτομή.

Ο Γκίλφορντ κοιτάζει μακριά με το κύρος του Άρχοντα / Πρύτανη και είναι ενδεδυμένος αρχαιοπρεπώς ως διδάκτορας της Νομικής, σε σχέδιο του ίδιου του Προσαλέντη. Σύμφωνα με περιγραφή σε επιστολή του προς την αδελφή του Ανν, γραμμένη από το Οτράντο την 1η Ιουνίου 1824, φορά κατάσαρκα λευκό χιτώνα και από επάνω φέρει πορφυρό ιμάτιο που συγκρατεί στον ώμο μία χρυσή ανθόμορφη πόρπη. Ένα διακριτό εξάρτημα είναι ο αρχαιοπρεπής τρόπος που διατηρεί σταθερή την πλούσια πλευρική κόμη της κεφαλής του. Γράφει χαρακτηριστικά: «Ωστόσο, αντί για τη σκούφια του Οδυσσέα, έφερα γύρω από την κεφαλή μου μία στενή μαύρη βελούδινη ταινία κεντημένη στο εμπρόσθιο μέρος με χρυσά φύλλα δάφνης και μία χρυσή γλαυκή» (British Library, Add. MS 61983, p. 129). Αυτή η φράση αφενός προδίδει τη εξοικείωσή του με τον Όμηρο. Αφετέρου αναφέρεται στην κεντρική θέση που είχει η γλαυκή, το αρπακτικό πτηνό που κυνηγά επιτυχώς ακόμη και στο βαθύ σκοτάδι, ως έμβλημα του στόχου της Ιονίου Ακαδημίας να ρίξει στο σκοτάδι της άγνοιας το φως της σοφίας. Το οικόσημο του Πανεπιστημίου στο διηνεκές παρουσιάζει τη γλαυκή να στέκεται όρθια σε έναν κλάδο δάφνης. Ως γνωστόν, ο Γκίλφορντ έφερε πάντα επάνω του το δαχτυλίδι με την αθηναϊκή γλαύκα που του δώρισε η Φιλόμουσος Εταιρεία των Αθηνών από εκλογής του ως Προέδρου της το 1814.

Το πλάσιμο του γνησίου χαρακτικού είναι τόσο πλούσιο σε εικαστική πληροφορία που επέτρεψε τη μεγέθυνσή του περίπου στο μέγεθος της προτομής, με ύψος 90 εκατοστά, όπως διασώζει το αντίγραφό της, επίσης του 1827, που φιλοτέχνησε ο Ιωάννης Καλοσγούρος (1794-1878) και φυλάσσεται στην Εθνική Πινακοθήκη στην Αθήνα. Με την ευγενική χορηγία του Ιδρύματος Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς αποκαθίσταται η παρουσία της προτομής στην Πρυτανεία.

Την προσωπογραφία συνοδεύει το Πτυχίο του Διδάκτορα της Νομικής που απένειμε στον Γκίλφορντ το Πανεπιστήμιο της Οξφόρδης στις 30 Οκτωβρίου 1819. Χειρόγραφο σε περγαμηνή με κορδέλα και φούντα που υποστηρίζει τη κήρινη σφραγίδα του πανεπιστημίου μέσα σε επίχρυσο αργυρό οβάλ κυτίο από τον Γουίλιαμ Μπέητμαν, Λονδίνο. Το κάλυμμα του κυτίου είναι χαραγμένο με το οικόσημο του πανεπιστημίου, περικαλυμμένο από μία διδακτορική κάπα. Στην περγαμηνή μνημονεύεται και ο σημαντικότερος λόγος της τιμής που αρμόζει στον πτυχιούχο – η φροντίδα του να ιδρύσει την Ακαδημία στις Ιόνιες Νήσους, που έμελε να γίνει γεγονός πέντε έτη αργότερα (1824).

Στον Γκίλφορντ αρμόζει η υψίστη τιμή. Αγάπησε την Ελλάδα και τους Έλληνες περισσότερο από οποιονδήποτε φιλέλληνα. Έχαιρε της υποστήριξης των επαναστατημένων Ελλήνων που είδαν την ίδρυση της Ακαδημίας ως μέρος της ανασυγκρότησης του γένους και της παλλιγγενεσίας της Ελλάδας. Στο όραμα και στο έργο του είχε φυσικά και την υποστήριξη του Ιωάννη Καποδίστρια. Η σχέση του Γκίλφορντ με το Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο ανανεώνεται με την παρούσα δωρεά. Τα εύσημα για την οφειλόμενη τιμή στον Πρύτανη, Καθηγητή Ανδρέα Φλώρο. Ευχαριστίες για τη σημαντική δωρεά στον Πρόεδρο του Ιδρύματος Ρόθτσαϊλντ, Λόρδο Τζέικομπ Ρόθτσαϊλντ και στον Πρόεδρο του Ιδρύματος Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς, Κόμη Σπύρο Φλαμπουριάρη. Χαιρετισμούς και στο Βρετανό Πρέσβη, Κύριο Μάθιου Λοτζ, που εγγυάται το διηνεκές της ελληνοαγγλικής φιλίας.

Κέρκυρα, 7 Μαΐου 2022

Two cuttings in The Gentleman’s Magazine, London, July to December 1819, Volume LXXXIX, pp. 443-445.
The Ionian University rectorate’s entrance hall.
Conservator Spyridoula Prifti mounting Guilford’s degree on the back.
Conservator Spyridoula Prifti polishing the degree’s silver seal box.
Conservator Spyridoula Prifti mounting the degree’s lid of the silver seal box.
Conservator Spyridoula Prifti standing by Guilford’s portrait and degree.
The vitrine hosting Guilford’s degree.
The display of Guilford’s degree.
Lord Rothschild and Count Flamburiari at the Corfu Reading Society on 30 May 2014.

Unveiling of the Count and Countess Flamburiari’s Portraits

Out of respect for the Corfu Reading Society, the oldest literary institution in Greece, the Corfu Heritage Foundation includes in its founding mission the purpose of supporting it technocratically and financially. The Flamburiari family has always been aiding the Society. In fact, Count Georgios L. Flamburiaris, who served as President of the Society during the periods 1921-1925, 1929-1930 and 1933-1935, took care of the purchase of the property that was to house the Society from 1930. Following the family tradition, Count Spiro Flamburiari, President of the Foundation, sponsored the Society mainly in the following areas: its contribution to the purchase of the manuscript Diary of the Siege of Corfu in 1716 in 2016; the contractual engagement of a Curator to compile a list of the art collection for the period 2017-2020; the financial support of the Director from 2020; refurbishment of the premises with the installation of an air conditioning system in 2016, the design and the construction of an elevator in 2021.

In 2020, at the suggestion of the Society, the Foundation commissioned the Corfiot painter and art conservator Spyros Sourtzinos to paint the portraits of Count and Countess Flamburiari, its great benefactors, in order to add these works to its collection. Count Flamburiari is a businessman of noble Ionian descent with a particular love for culture and the arts especially in Corfu. He published the book “Corfu: The Garden Isle” in 1994 and founded the Corfu Heritage Foundation in 2000. Countess Flamburiari has been a painter from an early age. She studied painting at Saint Martin’s School of Art and dress design at the Chelsea College of Arts. Sourtzinos based the works on photographs of the couple, but also had the opportunity to meet them in order to make relevant refinements. In both portraits, in addition to the naturalistic rendering of the faces, certain colours were highlighted in both the garments and the background – cold for the President of the Foundation and warm for his wife. The two portraits were created in such a way that they are presented together and complement each other.

The unveiling of the portraits took place at the Society during the scientific conference for the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution on 12 November 2021. Announcing the beginning of the conference, the President of the Society, Mr Thanasis Makris, mentioned its significance. He then referred to the valuable legacy of the Society but also to the challenges it faces in the 21st century, as well as to the extensive renovation works carried out in recent years, thanks to the “extremely generous sponsorship of Count Spiro Flamburiari, President of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, and his wife, Countess Milly Flamburiari”. As a first symbolic sign of recognition of benefaction, the Administrative Committee decided that the portraits of the Flamburiari couple should adorn the Society from now on.


1. Messrs Giannis S. Pieris and Thanasis Makris reveal the portraits of the Flamburiari couple at the Corfu Reading Society on 12 November 2021.

2. Spyros Sourtzinos (Corfu, b. 1948). Portrait of Spiro L. Flamburiari, 2020. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society.

3. Spyros Sourtzinos (Corfu, b. 1948). Portrait of Milly Flamburiari, 2020. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society.

Αποκαλυπτήρια Προσωπογραφιών του Κυρίου και της Κυρίας Φλαμπουριάρη

Από σεβασμό στην Αναγνωστική Εταιρία Κερκύρας, το αρχαιότερο φιλολογικό ίδρυμα της Ελλάδας, το Ίδρυμα Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς περιλαμβάνει στην ιδρυτική αποστολή του τον σκοπό να το υποστηρίζει τεχνοκρατικά και οικονομικά. Η οικογένεια Φλαμπουριάρη πάντοτε στάθηκε αρωγός της Εταιρίας. Μάλιστα ο Κόμης Γεώργιος Λ. Φλαμπουριάρης, που διετέλεσε Πρόεδρος της Εταιρίας κατά τις περιόδους 1921-1925, 1929-1930 και 1933-1935, φρόντισε για την αγορά του ακινήτου που έμελε να τη στεγάσει από το 1930. Ακολουθώντας την οικογενειακή παράδοση, ο κύριος Σπύρος Φλαμπουριάρης, Πρόεδρος του Ιδρύματος, χορήγησε την Εταιρία κυρίως στους εξής τομείς: τη συμβολή του στην αγορά του χειρογράφου Ημερολογίου της Πολιορκίας της Κερκύρας του 1716το 2016· τη σύμβαση σε Επιμελητή να συντάξει κατάλογο της συλλογής τέχνης την περίοδο 2017-2020· την οικονομική υποστήριξη του εκάστοτε Διευθυντού από το 2019· την ανακαίνιση χώρων της με εγκατάσταση συστήματος κλιματισμού το 2016 και τον σχεδιασμό και την κατασκευή ανελκυστήρα το 2021.

Το 2020, με πρόταση της Εταιρίας, το Ίδρυμα ανέθεσε στον Κερκυραίο ζωγράφο και συντηρητή έργων τέχνης Σπύρο Σουρτζίνο να φιλοτεχνήσει τις προσωπογραφίες του ζεύγους Σπύρου και Μίλλυς Φλαμπουριάρη, μεγάλους ευεργέτες της, με σκοπό τα εν λόγω έργα να προστεθούν στη συλλογή της. Ο κύριος Φλαμπουριάρης είναι ένας επιχειρηματίας ευγενούς επτανησιακής καταγωγής με ιδιαίτερη αγάπη για τον πολιτισμό και τις τέχνες ιδιαίτερα στην Κέρκυρα. Εξέδωσε το βιβλίο «Κέρκυρα: Η Νήσος Κήπος» το 1994 και ίδρυσε το Ίδρυμα Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς το 2000. Η κυρία Φλαμπουριάρη είναι ζωγράφος από μικρή. Σπούδασε ζωγραφική στη Σχολή Τέχνης Σαιντ Μάρτινς και ενδυματολογική σχεδίαση στο Κολλέγιο Τεχνών Τσέλσυ. Ο Σουρτζίνος βάσισε τις δύο προσωπογραφίες σε φωτογραφίες των εικονιζομένων, αλλά είχε και την ευκαιρία να τους συναντήσει ώστε να προβεί σε σχετικές εκλεπτύνσεις. Σε αμφότερα τα έργα, πέρα από τη νατουραλιστική απόδοση των προσώπων, τονίστηκαν τόσο στο ένδυμα όσο και στο φόντο τα αγαπημένα χρώματά τους – ψυχρά για τον Πρόεδρο του Ιδρύματος και θερμά για τη ζωγράφο σύζυγό του. Οι δύο προσωπογραφίες φιλοτεχνήθηκαν κατά τέτοιο τρόπο ώστε να παρουσιάζονται μαζί και να συμπληρώνουν η μία την άλλη.

Τα αποκαλυπτήρια των προσωπογραφιών πραγματοποιήθηκαν στην Εταιρία κατά το επιστημονικό συνέδριο για τη 200ή επέτειο της Ελληνικής Επανάστασης στις 12 Νοεμβρίου 2021. Κηρύσσοντας την έναρξη του συνεδρίου ο Πρόεδρος της Εταιρίας, κύριος Θανάσης Μακρής, αναφέρθηκε στη σημασία του. Εν συνεχεία, αναφέρθηκε στην πολύτιμη παρακαταθήκη της Εταιρίας αλλά και στις προκλήσεις που αντιμετωπίζει στον 21ο αιώνα, καθώς και στα εκτεταμένα έργα ανακαίνισης που έγιναν τα τελευταία χρόνια, χάρη στην «εξαιρετικά γενναιόδωρη χορηγία του κυρίου Σπύρου Φλαμπουριάρη, Προέδρου του Ιδρύματος Κερκυραϊκής Κληρονομιάς, και της ζωγράφου συζύγου του, κυρίας Μίλλυς Φλαμπουριάρη». Ως μία πρώτη συμβολική ένδειξη αναγνώρισης της ευεγερσίας τους η Διοικητική Επιτροπή απεφάσισε οι προσωπογραφίες του ζεύγους Φλαμπουριάρη να κοσμούν από εδώ και στο εξής την Εταιρία.


1. Οι κύριοι Γιάννης Σ. Πιέρης και Θανάσης Μακρής αποκαλύπτουν τις προσωπογραφίες του ζεύγους Φλαμπουριάρη, στην Αναγνωστική Εταιρία Κερκύρας, στις 12 Νοεμβρίου 2021.

2. Σπύρος Σουρτζίνος (Κέρκυρα, γ. 1948). Προσωπογραφία Σπύρου Λ. Φλαμπουριάρη, 2020. Λάδι σε καμβά, 50 x 40 εκ. Παραχώρηση της Αναγνωστικής Εταιρίας Κερκύρας.

3. Σπύρος Σουρτζίνος (Κέρκυρα, γ. 1948). Προσωπογραφία Μίλλυς Φλαμπουριάρη, 2020. Λάδι σε καμβά, 50 x 40 εκ. Παραχώρηση της Αναγνωστικής Εταιρίας Κερκύρας.

1. Messrs Giannis S. Pieris and Thanasis Makris reveal the portraits of the Flamburiari couple at the Corfu Reading Society on 12 November 2021.
2. Spyros Sourtzinos (Corfu, b. 1948). Portrait of Spiro L. Flamburiari, 2020. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society.
3. Spyros Sourtzinos (Corfu, b. 1948). Portrait of Milly Flamburiari, 2020. Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society.

The Statue of Lord Byron

The “Statue of Lord Byron” by Georgios Vitalis in the Achilleion

By Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD

Map of the Achilleion, which marks in a circle the position of the “Statue of Lord Byron” by Georgios Vitalis. Courtesy of the Hellenic Public Properties Company, Athens.

The Achilleion (1889-1892) is one of the most famous royal villas in Europe and perhaps the most important attraction of Corfu. It is located in the settlement of Gastouri, about 10 km south of the old town. The villa was built on the site of the Brailas country villa by Elisabeth, Empress of Austria (1837-1898) as her winter palace (this was the season she chose to get away from Vienna) in a classic design by the Italian architects Raffaele Caritto (1844-1911) and Antonio Landi. Out of her love for Homer, she dedicated the mansion to Achilles, the protagonist of the Iliad. In due course she enriched the courtyard of the villa with statues from ancient Greek mythology.

Portrait of Georgios Vitalis (1838-1901). Courtesy of the book “The Awakening” 2006:69.

At one point in the courtyard, where a path begins for the forest that extends to the sea, is presented the “Statue of Lord Byron”, a work of Georgios Vitalis (1838-1901), who was a great sculptor of Greek neoclassicism. This artist was contemporary and competed artistically with both Yannoulis Chalepas (1851-1938) and Dimitrios Filippotis (1839-1919) (Stefanidis 2006:69). He was born in Tinos, the son of a folk craftsman. He studied with a scholarship at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich under the tutelage of Max von Widnmann (1812-1895) from 1865 to 1870.

Georgios Vitalis (Greece, 1838-1901). Statue of Lord Byron, 1872-1881. Marble. Courtesy of the Garden of Heroes, Missolonghi.

Elisabeth brought this statue to the Achilleion because of her adoration of the great philhellene poet, many of whose poems she translated into German. In fact, in 1888 she had travelled to Missolonghi to visit the site where the poet breathed his last, the  martyric house that Christos Kapsalis blew up on the night of the Exodus on 10 April 1826. In addition, in the Garden of Heroes, there, she saw the “Statue of Byron” that Vitalis created from 1872, when he received the assignment, until 1881, when this monument was unveiled. The poet stands upright and his head turns diagonally away in a gesture of reverie. He is elegantly dressed in the style of an English dandy and in his left hand he is holding a rolled parchment, apparently of his work. The fact is that Elisabeth was so dazzled by the beauty and technical perfection of the work that she commissioned the artist, who was highly regarded in the art world, to create another version of it.

Bertel Thorvaldsen (Denmark, 1770-1844). Statue of Lord Byron, 1831-1834. Marble. 183 x 90 x 90 cm. Courtesy of Wren Library, Trinity College, Cambridge.

Thus Vitalis created another version of the statue of the poet. His work was obviously inspired by the famous “Statue of Lord Byron” created by the Danish sculptor Bertel Torvaldsen in Rome from 1831 to 1834. It should be noted that this sculptor was duly considered the preeminent sculptor after the death of Canova (1757-1822) and his studio in Rome was a site of pilgrimage for his many devotees. George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), the leading figure of British Romanticism, had sat for a marble bust by him in his studio in 1817 (now in the Torvaldsens Museum, Copenhagen). It is possible that Vitalis had studied the statue on the spot, at the Wren Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1883, when the Prime Minister of Greece, Charilaos Trikoupis, sent him to England at the expense of the state to create the statue of his counterpart William Gladstone (Sochos 1929:86). In any case, the form of this work was spread by its engraved representations. The bard, dressed in his typical romantic attire, sits on the debris of a Greek temple, with his left foot resting on a fragment of a fallen column. He holds the book inscribed “Childe Harold” in one hand and a stylus in the other, the tip of which is thoughtfully touching the chin, while his head turns thoughtfully away. The composition depicts a moment of contemplation and calm, a serene portrait in stark contrast to the intense and turbulent life he lived. Discreetly on the ground, a human skull appears, a characteristic romantic prop of the message “memento mori” (remember that you must die).

Georgios Vitalis (Greece, 1838-1901. Statue of Lord Byron, c. 1890. Marble. Courtesy of Achilleion, Corfu.

Vitalis’ “Statue of Lord Byron” is a genuine and original creation, which eloquently depicts the poet with unparalleled technical skill, stylistic elegance and psychographic power. Crafted from fine-grained white marble, it portrays the poet to personify with idealistic naturalism the highest moment of intellectual creation – the inspiration. The poet is seated on a neoclassical throne and rests his body on its back. One hand supports his slightly bent head, while the other holds the manuscript pages firmly on his outstretched knee. His body is covered with a cloak that reveals his lace sleeves and collar and high-heeled shoes. At the rear of the composition, the rich folds of the cloak open to reveal under the throne the books he published with a definite reference to the poems “The Giaour” (1813), “The Bride of Abydos”, (1813), “The Corsair” (1814), “The Siege of Corinth” (1816), “Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage” (1818) and “Don Juan” (1819-1824).

Unfortunately, due to the bad luck of Elisabeth, who was assassinated by an anarchist in Geneva in 1898, and the unfortunate management of her villa, whose ownership passed to the Greek state from 1929, when it became deserted, until it operated as a casino from 1962 to 1984, movable objects either disappeared or fell into obscurity. Specifically, the statue of Byron was forgotten and from time to time its creation was attributed to Italian and even Corfiot artists, but without identification, as the work is unsigned. From 2016, when the Achilleion was turned into a museum, the building and the works of art began to receive due attention. Thus, the attribution of the work to Vitalis has now been restored. In addition, its weathered surface was exemplarily conserved by a special workshop of the Ministry of Culture in 2021.

Ioannis A. Vitalis (Greece, 1860-c.1900). Bust of Lord Byron, 1879. Marble. Courtesy of the Panhellenic Holy Foundation of Evangelistiria of Tinos.

The love of the Greeks for Byron, both for his philhellenic action and for the romantic style he represented, is a matter of fact. Indeed, Ioannis A. Vitalis, in 1879, created his own version of the poet, a bust inspired by the statue made by his cousin. Even George created an additional bust of the poet from 1895 to 1901, when he was working in Alexandria, Egypt, which is kept in the Community Council Hall of Alexandria (Nobilakis 2009:126). The words that Byron addressed to Samuel Barff, who wrote a letter on 10 March 1824 to advise him to leave the Missolonghian wet climate and stay at his house in Zante, are very emotional: “I cannot quit Greece while there is a chance of my being of even supposed utility; there is a stake worth millions such as I am; and while I can stand at all—I must stand by the cause” (Byron 1827:xxxvi / Lord Byron 1980-1993). The result, however, was that he was ultimately defeated by his shaken health and the hardships of his stay there. He died in Missolonghi on 19 April 1824, at 6 pm. When the news of his death reached Tinos, it is recorded that the bells of Evangelistria rang mournfully. The national poet Dionysios Solomos, devastated by his loss, wrote his famous “Ode to the death of Lord Byron” (from the long poem, here is a characteristic exceprt of stanzas 1 and 137: “Freedom, for a while / stop hitting with the sword / now sway and cry / for Byron’s body […] Listen Byron, with what wailing / the homeland of the Greeks / greets you, / cry, cry, Freedom”). With its recent restoration, the statue of the poet in the Achilleion hopes to become a universal attraction for the art-loving world.

Athens, 18 September 2021


•   Lord Byron, The Complete Poetical Works, ed. Jerome J. McGann (7 vols.), Oxford, UK: Clarendon, 1980-1993.

•   Byron, George Gordon. The Works of Lord Byron. Paris, FR: A. & W. Galignani, 1827.

•   Nobilakis, Ilias V. Sculptors from Tinos in Egypt (Cairo – Alexadnria), 19th-20th Century. Athens, GR: Cultural Foundation of Tinos, 2009.

•   Sochos, Xenophon. Album of Greek Artists. Nikiforos Lytras 1832-1904. Athens, GR: Paraskevas Leonis Press, 1929.

•   Stefanidis, Manos and Dora Fotopoulou. The Awakening: Tinian Artists in the Transition from the Folk to the Scholarly. Tinos, GR: Cultural Foundation of Tinos, 2006.


Georgios Vitalis (Tinos, 1838- Alexandria, 1901)

By Xenophon Sochos

Another prominent sculptor is Georgios Vitalis, who was born in the prosperous village of Ysternia of Tinos, the village where the most prominent artists of modern Greece also saw the light of day, such as Lazaros Sochos, the four Fytalis brothers, Iakovos Malakates, Ioannis Andreou Vitalis, Antonios Sochos. At the age of fifteen, Vitalis was hired by his father who worked in Smyrna as an architect, to help him with his work. But the restless spirit of Vitalis, in line with higher ideals, impelled him to leave after a little while his father and construction work and secretly go to Athens where his cousin Georgios Fytalis, then a professor of sculpture at the Polytechnic, held a distinguished marble sculpture workshop. Spending half the time of the day in this workshop, as a salaried craftsman, to earn a living, since the father did not send him not even a penny for his living expenses after his secret departure from Smyrna, while the other half at the Polytechnic where he was taught sculpture by his aforementioned cousin and professor, after seven years of study there, during which his talent as a probationary sculptor was brought out in such a way as to draw the special attention of his teacher and his fellow students, the young Vitalis managed to graduate with the first prize in his graduation exams.

This, as well as his reputation in the then narrow circle of artists as a rising artistic star, after that of Nikolaos Gyzis, a fellow student of Vitalis, was enough to be sent by the then great patron of Letters and Arts, Queen Amalia, in Munich of Germany, with a special letter of recommendation to the art-loving King of Bavaria, so that at her own expense he may attain excellence at the world-famous Munich Royal Academy of Fine Arts. And indeed, during his five years of study there, in which he won in the various competitions of the Academy the first prizes amidst so many German and foreign fellow students, he justified the expectations of the art-loving Ruler, so that he was also honoured with the high-ranking medal by King Ludwig and be requested by his Highness to remain in Munich and practice his work there, especially after getting married to the daughter of Baron von Spruner, a trusted doctor of King Otto, in whose house he remained as a boarder, in fact a marriage to which the King contributed in order to keep Vitalis in Munich.

But Vitalis, unlike Gyzis, despite listening to the same recommendations of that art-loving King and because of this and through his value managing to occupy the chair of the Professor of Painting in this Academy in which he studied and thus shine, overwhelmed by the desire to return to his native land and work in Greece, did not heed the King’s recommendations, which if embraced, would surely lead him to securely occupy the other chair in the Academy, that of the Professor of Sculpture. With the intention of settling in Athens, he passed through Syros, where the great Dimitrios Vafeiadakis was then mayor, who saw in the face of Vitalis the man that would aid him in the majestic plans for the city of Hermes, convinced him to remain in Syros and commissioned along with other art-loving Syrians to construct various works, which actually adorned Hermoupolis. During his thirty years of residence in Syros, he ameliorated with majestic mausolea the city Cemetery, considered one of the first in the East, the Squares with statues and the Temples with works of art and especially iconostasia (altarpieces) of great value, amongst which the one of Agios Nikolaos is considered as the most eminent and beautiful in Greece.

Orpheus, Paris, Theseus, Bacchis, Oedipus, Hector, Hermoupolis, Canaris, are life-size works for which he was awarded gold and silver medals at the exhibitions of Olympia, Rome and Paris and some of those of marble decorated halls as of the late Queen Olga, Sofia Trikoupi and Stefanos Skouloudis. But also other cities of the liberated and enslaved Greece where Vitalis’ reputation as a qualified sculptor extended, commissioned works of great value, as well as many busts of heroes of the struggle and glorious statesmen, always assisted by his brother Ioannis, also an eminent sculptor, he performed very conscientiously, overlooking as a true artist his personal gain in favour of the cause.

Whenever he took part in competitions he was always awarded. However, the true awards were his works, by which he became victorious. “Hermoupolis” in Syros, “Byron” in Missolonghi, “Kanaris” in Romania, “Gladston” in Athens, “Averoff” in Egypt, are statues that he undertook after competition, and the latter, after an international one in Alexandria amongst more than 20 Greek and European artists. Vitalis was summoned twice, first by Epameinondas Deligiorgis and then by Charilaos Trikoupis, who especially appreciated and loved him, to be appointed professor of Sculpture at the Polytechnic, but Vitalis by his modest nature rejected the appointment. A characteristic of the preference, which the late Trikoupis nurtured for Vitalis was that in everything concerning art, he sought his opinion, and the fact that he sent him at the expense of the State deliberately to England by the side of Gladstone after a recommendation letter to him so that he may represent in situ the “Great Elder” with the statue that adorns the precinct of the National University; and Gladston was so enchanted by the conversation and the innocence of Vitalis, in whose face he distinguished – as he confessed – the classical type of an ancient Greek figure, so that not only did he put him up for three months in his summer mansion and honoured him with exquisite and rich gifts, but also until his death he kept correspondence with him, especially in the Homeric dialect. Vitalis’ artistic demon was appreciated only in Greece, but also abroad his reputation extended as a distinguished sculptor. King Umberto of Italy, as President of the Institute of Fine Arts in Rome, awarded to him the Diploma of Honorary Member of the Institute, an honour awarded only to prominent artists. This is, in short, the life of Vitalis, who died early, while executing the magnificent Averoff Mausoleum in front of the Athens Cemetery, and still in the stage of artistic prosperity. Gladston, after the completion of the statue, said with admiration to its creator: “Fine sculptor Vitalis, your work is worthy of the best works of the great sculptures of your ancient country Greece” and the English press made a citation that the work is worthy of the great fame of the artist Georgios Vitalis.

[Xenophon Sochos, Album of Greek Artists. Nikiforos Lytras 1832-1904. Athens, GR: Paraskevas Leonis Press, 1929, pp 85-86.]

Ο «Ανδριάντας του Λόρδου Μπάιρον» από τον Γεώργιο Βιτάλη στο Αχίλλειον

Του Μεγακλή Ρογκάκου, MA MA PhD

Χάρτης Αχιλλείου, που σημειώνει σε κύκλο τη θέση του «Ανδριάντα Λόρδου Μπάιρον» από τον Γεώργιο Βιτάλη. Παραχώρηση Εταιρείας Ακινήτων Δημοσίου, Αθήνα.

Το Αχίλλειον (1889-1892) είναι μία από τις γνωστότερες βασιλικές επαύλεις της Ευρώπης και ίσως το σημαντικότερο αξιοθέατο αρχιτεκτόνημα της Κερκύρας. Βρίσκεται στον οικισμό Γαστούρι, περίπου 10 χλμ νοτίως της παλαιάς πόλης. Την έπαυλη ανήγειρε στη θέση της εξοχικής βίλλας Βράιλα η Ελισάβετ, Αυτοκράτειρα της Αυστρίας (1837-1898) ως χειμερινό ανάκτορό της (αυτή ήταν η εποχή που επέλεγε να ξεφεύγει από τη Βιέννη) σε κλασσικό σχέδιο από τους Ιταλούς αρχιτέκτονες Ραφαέλε Καρίττο (1844-1911) και Αντόνιο Λάνντι. Από την αγάπη της για τον Όμηρο, αφιέρωσε την έπαυλη στον Αχιλλέα, πρωταγωνιστή της Ιλιάδας. Εν καιρώ πλούτισε τον περίβολο της έπαυλης με αγάλματα από την αρχαία ελληνική μυθολογία.

Προσωπογραφία Γεωργίου Βιτάλη (1838-1901). Παραχώρηση βιβλίου «Η Αφύπνιση» 2006:69.

Σε ένα σημείο του περιβόλου, όπου ξεκινά ένα μονοπάτι για το δάσος που εκτείνεται μέχρι τη θάλασσα, παρουσιάζεται ο «Ανδριάντας του Λόρδου Μπάιρον», έργο του Γεωργίου Βιτάλη (1838-1901), που υπήρξε σπουδαίος γλύπτης του ελληνικού νεοκλασικισμού. Ο εν λόγω καλλιτέχνης συμπορεύτηκε χρονικά και ανταγωνίστηκε καλλιτεχνικά τόσο με τον Γιαννούλη Χαλεπά (1851-1938) όσο και με τον Δημήτριο Φιλιππότη (1839-1919) (Στεφανίδης 2006:69). Γεννήθηκε στην Τήνο, υιός λαϊκού τεχνίτη. Σπούδασε με υποτροφία στη Βασιλική Ακαδημία Καλών Τεχνών του Μονάχου με δάσκαλο τον Μαξ φον Βίντενμαν (1812-1895) από το 1865 έως το 1870.

Γεώργιος Βιτάλης (Ελλάδα, 1838-1901). Ανδριάντας Λόρδου Μπάιρον, 1872-1881. Μάρμαρο. Παραχώρηση Κήπου των Ηρώων, Μεσολόγγι.

Η Ελισάβετ έφερε το συγκεκριμένο άγαλμα στο Αχίλλειον λόγω της λατρείας της για τον μεγάλο φιλέλληνα ποιητή, του οποίου πολλά ποιήματα μετέφρασε στη γερμανική γλώσσα. Μάλιστα, το 1888 είχε ταξιδέψει στο Μεσολόγγι για να επισκεφτεί τον τόπο όπου ο ποιητής άφησε την τελευταία του πνοή, το μαρτυρικό σπίτι που ανατίναξε ο Χρήστος Καψάλης το βράδυ της Εξόδου στις 10 Απριλίου 1826. Επιπλέον στον Κήπο των Ηρώων, εκεί, είδε και τον «Ανδριάντα του Μπάιρον» τον οποίο φιλοτέχνησε ο Βιτάλης από το 1872, που έλαβε την ανάθεση, έως το 1881, που αποκαλύφθηκε το εν λόγω μνημείο. Ο ποιητής στέκεται όρθιος και η κεφαλή του στρέφεται διαγωνίως σε ένδειξη ονειροπόλησης. Είναι ντυμένος κομψά σε ύφος αγγλικού δανδή και στο αριστερό χέρι κρατά τυλιγμένη περγαμηνή προφανώς έργου του. Γεγονός είναι ότι η Ελισάβετ θαμπώθηκε τόσο από το κάλλος και τη τεχνική αρτιότητα του έργου ώστε να αναθέσει στον καλλιτέχνη, που έχαιρε εξαιρετικής εκτίμησης στον κόσμο της τέχνης, να φιλοτεχνήσει μία άλλη εκδοχή του.

Μπέρτελ Τόρβαλντσεν (Δανία, 1770-1844. Ανδριάντας Λόρδου Μπάιρον, 1831-1834. Παραχώρηση Βιβλιοθήκης Ρεν, Κολέγιο Τρίνιτι, Κέιμπριτζ.

Έτσι ο Βιτάλης φιλοτέχνησε έναν διαφορετικό ανδριάντα του ποιητή. Εμφανώς εμπνεύσθηκε το έργο του από τον περίφημο «Ανδριάντα του Λόρδου ι» που είχε φιλοτεχνήσει ο Δανός γλύπτης Μπέρτελ Τόρβαλντσεν από το 1831 έως το 1834. Θα πρέπει να σημειωθεί ότι αυτός ο γλύπτης θεωρήθηκε δεόντως ο εξέχων γλύπτης μετά το θάνατο του Κανόβα (1757-1822) και το ατελιέ του στη Ρώμη ήταν τόπος προσκυνήματος για τους πολλούς πιστούς του. Ο Τζορτζ Γκόρντον, Λόρδος Μπάιρον (1788-1824), η κορυφαία μορφή του βρετανικού ρομαντισμού, είχε καθίσει για μια μαρμάρινη προτομή από αυτόν στο εργαστήριό του το 1817 (τώρα στο Μουσείο Τόρβαλντσεν στην Κοπεγχάγη). Είναι πιθανόν ο Βιτάλης να είχε μελετήσει τον ανδριάντα επί τόπου, στη Βιβλιοθήκη Ρεν του Κολεγίου Τρίνιτι στο Κέιμπριτζ, το 1883, όταν ο Πρωθυπουργός της Ελλάδας, Χαρίλαος Τρικούπης, τον απέστειλε στην Αγγλία δαπάναις του κράτους προκειμένου να φιλοτεχνήσει τον ανδριάντα του ομολόγου του Γουίλιαμ Γκλάντστοουν (Σώχος 1929:86). Σε κάθε περίπτωση, η μορφή του εν λόγω έργου διαδόθηκε και από χαρακτικές αναπαραστάσεις του. Ο λογοτέχνης, ντυμένος με την τυπική ρομαντική του ενδυμασία, κάθεται στα συντρίμμια ενός ελληνικού ναού, με το αριστερό του πόδι να στηρίζεται σε ένα θραύσμα πεσμένου στήλου. Κρατά το βιβλίο που αναγράφεται «Τσάιλντ Χάρολντ» στο ένα χέρι και στο άλλο μία γραφίδα που η άκρη της αγγίζει στοχαστικά το πηγούνι, με την κεφαλή του στραμμένη στο πλάι. Η σύνθεση απεικονίζει μία στιγμή περισυλλογής και ηρεμίας, μία γαλήνια προσωπογραφία σε μεγάλη αντίθεση με την έντονη και ταραγμένη ζωή που βίωσε. Διακριτικά στο έδαφος του φόντου κάνει την εμφάνισή του ένα ανθρώπινο κρανίο, χαρακτηριστικό ρομαντικό σκηνικό του μηνύματος «μνήσθητι τον θάνατον».

Γεώργιος Βιτάλης (Ελλάδα, 1838-1901. Ανδριάντας Λόρδου Μπάιρον, π. 1890. Μάρμαρο. Παραχώρηση Αχιλλείου, Κέρκυρα.

Ο «Ανδριάντας του Λόρδου Μπάιρον» του Βιτάλη είναι ένα γνήσιο και πρωτότυπο δημιούργημα, που απεικονίζει εύγλωττα τον ποιητή με απαράμιλλη τεχνική δεξιοτεχνία, υφολογική κομψότητα και ψυχογραφική δύναμη. Φιλοτεχνημένο από λεπτόκοκο πάλευκο μάρμαρο, απεικονίζει τον ποιητή για να προσωποποιήσει με ιδεαλιστικό νατουραλισμό την υψίστη στιγμή της πνευματικής δημιουργίας – την έμπνευση. Ο ποιητής είναι καθισμένος σε νεοκλασσικό θρόνο και βασίζει το σώμα του παραμάσχαλα στην πλάτη του. Το ένα χέρι στηρίζει την ελαφρώς γερτή κεφαλή του, ενώ το άλλο κρατά σταθερά τις χειρόγραφες σελίδες επάνω στο προτεταμένο γόνατό του. Το σώμα του είναι καλυμμένο με μανδύα που αποκαλύπτει τα δαντελένια μανίκια και κολάρο και τα ψηλοτάκουνα υποδήματά του. Στο πίσω μέρος της σύνθεσης, η πλούσιες πτυχώσεις του μανδύα ανοίγουν για να αποκαλύψουν κάτω από τον θρόνο τα βιβλία που εξέδωσε με βέβαιη αναφορά στα ποιήματα «Ο Γκιαούρης» (1813), «Η Νύφη της Αβύδου» (1813), «Ο Κουρσάρος» (1814), «Η Πολιορκία της Κορίνθου» (1816), «Το Προσκύνημα του Τσάιλντ Χάρολντ» (1818) και «Δον Ζουάν» (1819-1824).

Δυστυχώς, λόγω της κακής τύχης της Ελισάβετ, που δολοφονήθηκε από αναρχικό στη Γενεύη το 1898, και της ατυχούς διαχείρησης της έπαυλής της, η ιδιοκτησία της οποίας πέρασε στο ελληνικό δημόσιο από το 1929 οπότε και ερημώθηκε, μέχρι που λειτούργησε ως καζίνο από το 1962 έως το 1984, τα κινητά αντικείμενα είτε εξαφανίστηκαν είτε έπεσαν σε αφάνεια. Συγκεκριμένα, ο ανδριάντας του Μπάιρον λησμονήθηκε και κατά καιρούς η δημιουργία του αποδόθηκε σε Ιταλούς, ακόμη και Κερκυραίους καλλιτέχνες, χωρίς όμως να υπάρξει ταυτοποίηση, καθώς το έργο είναι ανυπόγραφο. Από το 2016 που το Αχίλλειον μετατράπηκε σε μουσείο, το κτίριο και τα έργα τέχνης άρχισαν να τυγχάνουν της δέουσας προσοχής. Έτσι, η απόδοση του έργου στον Βιτάλη έχει τώρα αποκατασταθεί. Επιπλέον, η πολυκαιρισμένη του επιφάνεια συντηρήθηκε υποδειγματικά από ειδικό συνεργείο του Υπουργείου Πολιτισμού το 2021.

Ιωάννης Α. Βιτάλης (Ελλάδα, 1860-π.1900). Προτομή Λόρδου Μπάιρον, 1879. Μάρμαρο. Παραχώρηση Πανελληνίου Ιερού Ιδρύματος Ευαγγελιστρίας Τήνου.

Η αγάπη των Ελλήνων για τον Μπάιρον, τόσο για τη φιλελληνική δράση του όσο και για το ρομαντικό ύφος που αντιπροσώπευε, είναι δεδομένη. Μάλιστα, ο Ιωάννης Α. Βιτάλης, το 1879, φιλοτέχνησε τη δική του εκδοχή του ποιητή, μία προτομή εμπνευσμένη από το ανδριάντα που διεκπεραίωνε ο εξάδελφός του. Ακόμη και ο Γεώργιος φιλοτέχνησε μία επιπλέον προτομή του ποιητή στο διάστημα από το 1895 έως το 1901, όταν εργαζόταν στην Αλεξάνδρεια της Αιγύπτου, η οποία φυλάσσεται στην Αίθουσα του Κοινωτικού Συμβουλίου Αλεξανδρείας (Νομπιλάκης 2009:126). Υπερτάτη συγκίνηση εγείρουν τα λόγια που απηύθυνε ο Μπάιρον στον Σάμιουελ Μπαρφ, ο οποίος έγραψε μια επιστολή στις 10 Μαρτίου 1824 για να τον συμβουλέψει να φύγει από το υγρό μεσολογγίτικο κλίμα και να μείνει στο σπίτι του στη Ζάκυνθο, είναι πολύ συναισθηματικά: «Δεν μπορώ να εγκαταλείψω την Ελλάδα ενώ υπάρχει μία πιθανότητα να είμαι ακόμη και υποτιθεμένης χρησιμότητας· υπάρχει ένας σκοπός αξίας εκατομμυρίων ανθρώπων σαν και εμένα· και εάν μπορώ να σταθώ σε οποιοδήποτε βαθμό — πρέπει να σταθώ πιστός στον σκοπό» (Μπάιρον 1827:xxxvi / Λόρδος Μπάιρον 1980-1993). Το αποτέλεσμα όμως υπήρξε να ηττηθεί τελικά από την κλονισμένη υγεία του και τις κακουχίες της διαμονής του. Πέθανε στο Μεσολόγγι στις 19 Απριλίου 1824, στις 6 το απόγευμα. Όταν η είδηση για τον θάνατό του έφτασε στην Τήνο, είναι καταγεγραμμένο ότι οι καμπάνες της Ευαγγελιστρίας κτυπούσαν πένθιμα. Ο εθνικός ποιητής Διονύσιος Σολωμός, συντετριμένος από την απώλειά του, έγραψε την ονομαστή του «Ωδήν εις τον θάνατον του Λορντ Μπάιρον» (από το μακρύ ποίημα παρατίθεται χαρακτηριστικά η στροφή 1 και 137: «Λευτεριά, γιὰ λίγο πάψε / νὰ χτυπᾶς μὲ τὸ σπαθί. / Τώρα σίμωσε καὶ κλάψε / εἰς τοῦ Μπάιρον τὸ κορμί. […] Ἄκου, Μπάιρον, πόσον θρῆνον κάνει, ἐνῶ σὲ χαιρετᾶ, ἡ πατρίδα τῶν Ἑλλήνων. Κλαῖγε, κλαῖγε, Ἐλευθεριά.»). Με την πρόσφατη αποκατάστασή του, ο ανδριάντας του ποιητή στο Αχίλλειον ευελπιστείται να γίνει πόλος έλξης καθολικά για τον φιλότεχνο κόσμο.

Αθήνα, 18 Σεπτεμβρίου 2021


•   Λόρδος Μπάιρον, Τα Πλήρη Ποιητικά Έργα. Τζερώμ Τζ. ΜακΓκαν, εκ. (7 τόμοι), Οξφόρδη, UK: Κλάρεντον,1980-1993.

•   Μπάιρον, Τζωρτζ Γκόρντον. Τα Έργα του Λόρδου Μπάιρον. Παρίσι, FR: Α. & Γ. Γκαλινιανί, 1827.

•   Νομπιλάκης, Ηλίας Β. Τήνιοι Γλύπτες στην Αίγυπτο (Κάιρο – Αλεξάνδρεια), 19ος-20ός Αιώνας. Αθήνα, GR: Ίδρυμα Τηνιακού Πολιτισμού, 2009.

•   Στεφανίδης, Μάνος και Δώρα Φωτοπούλου. Η Αφύπνιση: Τήνιοι Καλλιτέχνες στη Μετάβαση από το Λαϊκό στο Λόγιο. Τήνος, GR: Ίδρυμα Τηνιακού Πολιτισμού, 2006.

•   Σώχος, Ξενοφών. Λεύκωμα Ελλήνων Καλλιτεχνών. Νικηφόρος Λύτρας 1832-1904. Αθήνα, GR: Τυπογραφείον Παρασκευά Λεώνη, 1929.


Γεώργιος Βιτάλης (Τήνος, 1838- Αλεξάνδρεια, 1901)

Του Ξενοφώντα Σώχου

Έτερος επιφανής γλύπτης είναι και ο Γεώργιος Βιτάλης, όστις εγεννήθη εις το εύανδρον χωρίον Υστέρνια της Τήνου, το χωρίον ένθα επίσης είδον το φως του ηλίου οι διαπρεπέστεροι καλλιτέχναι της νεωτέρας Ελλάδος, ως οι Λάζαρος Σώχος, οι τέσσαρες αδελφοί Φυτάλαι, ο Ιάκωβος Μαλακατές, ο Ιωάννης Ανδρέου Βιτάλης, ο Αντώνιος Σώχος. Δεκαπενταετής την ηλικίαν ο Βιτάλης παρελήφθη παρά του πατρός του εργαζομένου εν Σμύρνη ως αρχιτέκτονος, ίνα βοηθή τούτον εις τας εργασίας του. Αλλά το ανήσυχον πνεύμα του Βιτάλη, ρέπον εις υψηλότερα ιδανικά, παρώρμησε τούτον να εγκαταλείψη μετ᾽ου πολύ και πατέρα και οικοδομικάς εργασίας και να κατευθυνθή κρυφά εις Αθήνας ένθα ο εξάδελφός του Γεώργιος Φυτάλης, καθηγητής τότε της γλυπτικής εν τω Πολυτεχνείω, εκέκτητο και αξιόλογον εργαστήριο μαρμαρογλυπτικής. Κατανέμων τον ήμισυ χρόνον της ημέρας ο μικρός Βιτάλης εν τω εργαστηρίω τούτω, ως ημερομίσθιος τεχνίτης, ίνα πορίζηται τα προς το ζην, άτε του πατρός του μη αποστέλλοντος αυτώ ουδέ λεπτόν προς συντήρησιν μετά την κρυφίαν εκ Σμύρνης φυγήν του, το δε έτερον ήμισυ εν τω Πολυτεχνείω ένθα εδιδάσκετο την γλυπτικήν παρά του μνησθέντος εξαδέλφου του και καθηγητού, κατώρθωσε μετά επταετείς εν αυτώ σπουδάς καθ᾽ας το τάλαντον αυτού ως δοκίμου γλύπτου εξήχθη εις βαθμόν ώστε να προκαλέση και την ιδιαιτέραν προσοχή του καθηγητού του και την άμιλλαν των συσπουδαστών του, και να εξέλθη με πρώτον βραβείον κατά τα απολυτηρίου εξετάσεις του.

Τούτο δε, ως και η φήμη του εν τω στενώ τότε κύκλω των καλλιτεχνών ως ανατέλλοντος καλλιτεχνικού αστέρος, μετ᾽εκείνου του Νικολάου Γύζη συσπουδαστού του Βιτάλη, ήρκεσεν ώστε να αποσταλή παρά της τότε μεγάλης προστάτιδος των Γραμμάτων και Τεχνών, Βασιλίσσης Αμαλίας, εις Μόναχον της Γερμανίας, μετ᾽ιδιατέρας προς τον φιλότεχνον βασιλέα της Βαυαρίας συστατικής επιστολής, ίνα ιδίαις αυτής δαπαναις τελειοποιηθή εν τη παγκοσμίου φήμης καλλιτεχνική Βασιλική Ακαδημία του Μονάχου. Και πράγματι κατά τας πενταετείς εν αυτή σπουδάς του, καθ᾽ας έτυχεν εις διαφόρους διαγωνισμούς της Ακαδημίας των πρώτων βραβείων μεταξύ τόσων Γερμανών και ξένων συσπουδαστών του, εδικαίωσε τόσω τας προσδοκίας της φιλοτέχνου Ανάσσης, ώστε και δια του παρασήμου αξίας να τιμηθεί παρά του Βασιλέως Λουδοβίκου και να συστηθή αυτώ παρά του ιδίου, όπως παραμείνη εν Μονάχω και εξασκήση εκεί το έργο του, κατόπιν μάλιστα του γάμου ον συνήψε μετά της θυγατρός του Βαρώνου Φον Σπρούνερ, εμπίστου ιατρού του Βασιλέως Όθωνος, εις του οποίου τον οίκον ως οικότροφος παρέμενε, γάμου δε, εις ον τα μάλα ο Βασιλεύς εκείνος συνέβαλε προς τον σκοπόν όπως συγκρατήσει τον Βιτάλην εν Μονάχω.

Αλλά ο Βιτάλης, εν αντιθέση προς τον Γύζην, εισακούσαντα τας αυτάς συστάσεις του φιλοτέχνου εκείνου Βασιλέως και τούτω τω λόγω και δια της αξίας του κατορθώσαντος να καταλάβη και την έδραν του καθηγητού της Ζωγραφικής εν αυτή τη Ακαδημία εν η εσπούδασε και ούτω να διαλάμψη, διακαιόμενος υπό της επιθυμίας να επιστρέψη εις την γενέτειραν και να εργασθή εν Ελλάδι, δεν εισήκουσε τας συστάσεις του Βασιλέως, αίτινες γινόμεναι ασπασταί, θα ήγον αυτόν ασφαλώς εις την κατάληψιν της ετέρας εν τη Ακαδημία εκείνη έδρας, του καθηγητού Γλυπτικής. Με την πρόθεσιν να εγκατασταθή εις Αθήνας, διήλθεν εκ Σύρου, ένθα εδημάρχευε τότε ο μεγαλοπράγμων Δημήτριος Βαφειαδάκης, όστις διαβλέπων εν τω προσώπω του Βιτάλη τον άνθρωπον όστις θα τον συνέτρεχεν εις τα μεγαλεπήβολα δια την πόλιν του Ερμού σχέδιά του, τον κατέπεισε να παραμείνη εν Σύρω και τω ανέθεσ μετ᾽άλλων φιλοτέχνων Συρίων την κατασκευήν διαφόρων έργων, τα οποία όντως διεκόσμησαν την Ερμούπολιν. Καθόσον κατά την τριακονταετή εν Σύρω διαμονήν του, εκαλλώπισε δια μεγαλοπρεπών Μαυσωλείων, το Κοιμητήριον της πόλεως, θεωρούμενον τούτω τω λόγω εν των πρώτων της Ανατολής, τας Πλατείας δι᾽ανδριάντων, και τους Ναούς δια καλλιτεχνημάτων και ιδία εικονοστασίων (τέμπλων) μεγάλης αξίας, μεταξύ των οποίων το του Αγίου Νικολάου θεωρείται ως το εξοχώτερον και ωραιότερον εν Ελλάδι.

Ο Ορφεύς, ο Πάρις, ο Θησεύς, η Βακχίς, ο Οιδίπους, ο Έκτωρ, η Ερμούπολις, ο Κανάρης, είναι εις φυσικόν μέγεθος έργα ένεκα των οποίων ετιμήθη δια χρυσών και αργυρών μεταλλίων εν ταις εκθέσεσιν Ολυμπίων, Ρώμης και Παρισίων και τινά τούτων εκ μαρμάρου εκόσμησαν αιθούσας ως της αειμνήστου Βασιλίσσης Όλγας, της Σοφίας Τρικούπη και του Στεφάνου Σκουλούδη. Αλλά και άλλαι πόλεις της τε ελευθέρας και δούλης Ελλάδος εις ας είχε φθάσει η φήμη του Βιτάλη ως δοκιμωτάτου γλύπτου παρήγγειλαν αυτώ έργα μεγάλης αξίας ως και πλείστας προτομάς ηρώων του αγώνος και ενδόξων πολιτευτών, άτινα πάντα συμβοηθούντος και του αδελφού του Ιωάννου διαπρεπούς και τούτου ερμογλύφου, εξετέλει λίαν ευσυνειδήτως, παραβλέπων ως αληθής καλλιτέχνης το ίδιον συμφέρον απέναντι της ιδέας.

Οσάκις δε ελάμβανε μέρος εις διαγωνισμούς πάντοτε εβραβεύετο. Βραβεία δε αληθινά είναι αυτά τα έργα του, δι ᾽ων ενίκησε. Η «Ερμούπολις» εν Σύρω, ο «Βύρων» εν Μεσολογγίω, ο «Κανάρης» εν Ρουμανία, ο «Γλάδστων» εν Αθήναις, ο «Αβέρωφ» εν Αιγύπτω, εισίν ανδριάντες ων την κατασκευήν ανέλαβε κατόπιν διαγωνισμού, του τελευταίου δε, κατόπιν διεθνούς τοιούτου διεξαχθέντος εν Αλεξανδρεία μεταξύ 20 και πλέον ημετέρων τε και Ευρωπάιων καλλιτεχνών. Δις ο Βιτάλης εκλήθη το πρώτον υπό του Επαμεινώνδα Δεληγιώργη και κατόπιν υπό του Χαριλάου Τρικούπη, όστις ιδιατέρως τον εξετίμα και τον ηγάπα, ίνα διορισθή καθηγητής της Γλυπτικής εν τω Πολυτεχνείω, αλλά ο Βιτάλης φύσει μετρίοφρων απέκρουσε τον διορισμόν προτιμήσας την εν Σύρω αθόρυβον εργασίαν. Χαρακτηριστικόν δε της προτιμήσεως, ην ο αείμνηστος Τρικούπης έτρεφε προς τον Βιτάλην είναι ότι εν παντί αφορώντι την καλλιτεχνίαν, εζήτει την γνώμην αυτού, και το γεγονός ότι τον απέστειλε δαπάναις του Κράτους επίτηδες εις Αγγλίαν παρά τω Γλάδστωνι μετά συστακικής προς αυτόν επιστολής ίνα εκ του συνέγγυς απεικονίση τον «Μέγα Γέροντα» εις τον ανδριάντα όστις κοσμεί τον περίβολον του Εθνικού Πανεπιστημίου· ο δε Γλάδστων τόσον εγοητεύθη εκ τε της συνομιλίας και της αφελείας του Βιτάλη, εν τω προσώπω του οποίο διέκρινεν –ως ωμολόγησε- τον κλασσικόν τύπον μορφής αρχαίου Έλληνος, ώστε όχι μόνον τον εκράτησε παρ᾽αυτώ επι τρεις μήνας εν τη εξοχική του επαύλει και δια εκλεκτών και πλουσίων δώρων τον ετίμησεν, αλλά και μέχρι του θανάτου του διετήρει αλληλογραφίαν μετ᾽αυτού και δη εις ομηρικήν διάλεκτον. Ου μόνον εν Ελλάδι εξετιμήθη το καλλιτεχνικόν του δαιμόνιον του Βιτάλη, αλλά και εν τω εξωτερικό η φήμη αυτού ως διαπρεπεπούς γλύπτου έφθασε. Διο και ο Βασιλεύς της Ιταλίας Ουμβέρτος, ως Πρόεδρος του εν Ρώμη καλλιτεχνικού Ινστιτούτου, απένειμεν αυτώ το Δίπλωμα επιτίμου μέλους του Ινστιτούτου, τιμή απονεμομένη μόνον είς εξέχοντας καλλιτέχνας. Τοιούτος εν ολίγοις ο βίος του Βιτάλη, ον εύρεν ο θάνατος ενωρίς, εν τη εκτελέσει του προ του Κοιμητηρίου των Αθηνών μεγαλειώδους Μαυσωλείου του Αβέρωφ, και εις το στάδιον ακόμη καλλιτεχνικής ακμής. Ο δε Γλάδστων μετά την περαίωσιν του ανδριάντος είπε μετά θαυμασμού εις τον δημιουργόν αυτού· «εκλεκτέ γλύπτα Βιτάλη, το έργο σας είναι αντάξιον των καλλιτέρων έργων των μεγάλων γλυπτών της αρχαίας πατρίδος σας Ελλάδος» και περί του δημιουργήσαντος τύπου εύφημον εποιήσατο μνείαν ο Αγγλικός τύπος, ότι το έργον είναι αντάξιον της μεγάλης φήμης του καλλιτέχνου Γεωργίου Βιτάλη.

• Ξενοφών Σώχος. Λεύκωμα Ελλήνων Καλλιτεχνών. Νικηφόρος Λύτρας 1832-1904. Αθήνα, GR: Τυπογραφείον Παρασκευά Λεώνη, 1929, σς 85-86.


Λόγος επικήδειος του Σπυρίδωνος Τρικούπη εις τον Λόρδον Νόελ Μπάιρωνα, αποθανόντα κατά την 6η Απριλίου του έτους 1824, 19 Μαΐου, Κυριακή του Πάσχα, εν Μεσολογγίω, όπου και αυτοσχεδιασθείς εις το κοινότατον ύφος, εξεφωνήθη επ᾽ Εκκλησίας.

«Τί ανέλπιστον συμβεβηκός! Τί αξιοθρήνητον δυστύχημα! Ολίγος καιρός είναι αφού ο λαός της πολύπαθης Ελλάδος όλος χαρά και αγαλλίαση εδέχθη εις τους κόλπους του τον επίσημον τούτο άνδρα και σήμερον όλος θλίψη και κατήφεια καταβρέχει το νεκρικόν του κρεβάτι με πικρότατα δάκρυα, και οδύρεται απαρηγόρητα. Ο γλυκύτατος χαιρετισμός «Χριστός Ανέστη», έγινε άχαρις την ημέραν του Πάσχα εις τα χείλη του κάθε Έλληνος Χριστιανού, και απανταίνοντας ο ένας εις τον άλλον, πριν του ευχηθή ταις καλαίς εορταίς ερωτούσε «Πώς είναι ο μυλόρδος;». Χιλιάδες άνθρωποι συναγμένοι να δώσουν μεταξύ τους το θείον φίλημα της αγάπης εις την ευρύχωρον πεδιάδα έξω από το τείχος της πόλεώς μας, εφαίνονταν ότι εσυνάχθησαν μόνον και μόνον να παρακαλέσουν τον ελευθερωτήν του παντός διά την υγείαν του συναγωνιστού της ελευθερίας του γένους μας.

Και πως ήτο δυνατόν να μη συντριβή η καρδία όλων; Να μη καταπικραθούν όλων τα χείλη; Ευρέθηκεν άλλη φοράν το μέρος τούτο της Ελλάδος εις περισσοτέραν χρείαν και ανάγκην παρά εις την εποχήν, εις την οποίαν ο πολυθρήνητος Μυλόρδος Μπάιρον επέρασε με κίνδυνον και αυτής της ζωής του εις το Μεσολλόγι, και τότε και εις όσον καιρόν συνέζησε μαζί μας, δεν εθεράπευσε το πλουσιοπάροχόν του χέρι ταις δεινόταταις χρείαις μας, χρείαις όπου η πτωχεία μας ταις άφηνεν αδιόρθωταις; Πόσα άλλα καλά πολύ ακόμα μεγαλύτερα, ελπίζαμεν από αυτόν τον άνδρα; Και σήμερον, αλλοίμονον! Σήμερον ο πικρός τάφος καταπίνει και αυτόν και ταις ελπίδαις μας!

Αλλά δεν ημπορούσε τάχα καθήμενος και έξω από την Ελλάδα, αναπαυόμενος και χαιρόμενος τα καλά της Ευρώπης, να τρέξει με μόνην την μεγαλοδωρίαν της καρδίας του εις βοήθειάν μας; Τούτο αρκούσε δια ημάς, επειδή η δοκιμασμένη φρόνησις και βαθεία εμπειρία του προέδρου της βουλής και διοικητού μας θα εξοικονομούσε με μόνα τα μέσα αυτά την ασφάλειαν των μερών τούτων. Αλλά, αν αρκούσε τούτο δ’ ημάς, δεν αρκούσεν, όχι, δι’ αυτόν. Πλασμένος από την φύσιν, δια να υπερασπίζεται πάντοτε τα δικαιώματα του ανθρώπου όπου και αν τα έβλεπε καταπατημένα, γεννημένος εις ελεύθερον και πάνσοφον έθνος, θρεμμένος από μικρός με την ανάγνωσιν των συγγραμμάτων των αθανάτων προγόνων μας, τα οποία διδάσκουν όσους ηξεύρουν να διαβάσουν, όχι μόνον τι είναι, αλλά και τι πρέπει να είναι και τι ημπορεί να είναι ο άνθρωπος της Ελλάδος να αποφασίσει και να επιχειρισθεί να συντρίψει ταις φρικταίς άλυσαίς του και τα συντρίμματα των αλύσων του να κάμει κοφτερά σπαθιά δια να ξαναποχτήσει με την βίαν ό,τι του άρπαξεν η βία. Είδε και άφησεν όλαις ταις πνευματικαίς και σωματικαίς απόλαυσαις της Ευρώπης και ήλθε να κακοπαθήσει και να ταλαιπωρηθεί μαζί μας, συναγωνιζόμενος όχι μόνον με τον πλούτον του, τον οποίον δεν ελυπήθηκεν, όχι μόνον με την γνώσιν του της οποίας μας έδωκε τόσα σωτηριώδη σημεία, αλλά και με το σπαθί του ακονισμένον εναντίον τη τυραννίας και της βαρβαρότητος. Ήλθεν, εις ένα λόγον, κατά την μαρτυρίαν των οικιακών του, με απόφασιν να αποθάνει εις την Ελλάδα δια την Ελλάδα. Πώς λοιπόν να μη συντριβεί όλων μας η καρδία δια την στέρησιν ενός τοιούτου ανδρός; Πώς να μη κλαύσωμεν την στέρησίν του ως γενικήν στέρησιν όλου του Ελληνικού γένους;

Αλλ’ έως αυτού, αδερφοί, είδατε τον φιλελεύθερον, τον πλούσιον, τον ανδρείον άνθρωπον, τον αληθινόν φιλλέληνα, είδατε τον ευεργέτην. Τούτο φθάνει βέβαια να μας κινήση τα δάκρυα. Δεν φθάνει όμως, δεν φθάνει διά την υπόληψίν του και το μέγεθος του ενδόξου επιχειρηματός του αυτός, του οποίου κλαίομεν τον θάνατον απαρηγόρητα, είναι άνθρωπος ο οποίος (εις το είδος του) έδωκε το όνομά του εις τον αιώνα μας. Η ευρυχωρία του πνεύματός του και το ύψος της φαντασίας του δεν τον άφησαν να πατήση τα λαμπρά, πλην κοινά ίχνη της φιλολογικής των παλαιών δόξας. Έπιασε νέο δρόμον, τον οποίον η γεροντική πρόληψις προσεπάθησε και προσπαθεί ακόμη να τον κλείση εις την σοφήν Ευρώπην. Αλλά όσω ζουν τα συγγράματά του (και θα ζουν όσω ζη ο κόσμος) θέλει μείνει πάντοτε ο δρόμος αυτός ανοιχτός επειδή και αυτός καθώς και ο άλλος είναι δρόμος αληθινής δόξας. Εδώ παρατρέχω όσα με βιάζει να σας κοινοποιήσω το βαθύ σέβας και ο μεγάλος ενθουσιασμός όπου πάντοτε ενέπνευσεν εις την καρδίαν μου η ανάγνωσις των συγγραμμάτων του και τον οποίον αισθάνομαι τώρα σφοδρότερον από άλλην φοράν. Εγκωμίασε και εγκωμιάζει τον ποιητήν του αιώνος μας όλη η σοφή Ευρώπη, και θέλει τον εγκωμιάσουν όλοι οι αιώνες, επειδή εγεννήθηκε διά όλην την Ευρώπην και διά όλους τους αιώνας.

Ένας άλλος συλλογισμός μού έρχεται εις τον νουν, συλλογισμός τόσον ορθός και αληθινός όσον προσαρμοσμένος εις την περίστασιν της πατρίδος μας. Ακούσατε, Έλληνες, με προσοχήν αυτόν τον συλλογισμόν, επειδή θέλω να γενεί και συλλογισμός εδικός σας και συλλογισμός παντοτινός.

Πολλά εστάθησαν τα λαμπρά έθνη εις τον κόσμον, αλλά ολιγώταταις αι εποχαίς της αληθινής των λαμπρότητος. Ένα όμως φαινόμενον, στοχάζομαι, λείπει από τα χρονικά όλου του λαμπρού κόσμου, φιανόμενον το οποίον εδίσταζεν, αν ποτέ ημπορεί να φανεί, και αυτός ο παρατηρητικός νους της φιλοσοφίας. Όλα σχεδόν τα έθνη της γης έπεσαν από τα χέρια του ενός εις τα χέρια άλλου αυθέντου. Κάποτε εκαλλιτέρευσαν, κάποτε εχειροτέρευσαν. Πουθενά όμως το μάτι του ιστορικού δεν είδε κανένα έθνος κατασκλαβωμένον από βαρβάρους και μάλιστα βαρβάρους ριζωμένους από αιώνας εις αυτό το έθνος, δεν το είδε, λέγω, να ξεσκλαβωθεί αφ’ εαυτού του. Ιδού το φαινόμενον. Τούτο σήμερον παρουσιάζεται κατά πρώτην φοράν εις τον κόσμον και φαίνεται εις μοναχήν την Ελλάδα. Ναι, εις μοναχήν την Ελλάδα φαίνεται. Το βλέπει μακρόθεν ο φιλόσοφος και χάνει τον δισταγμόν του, το βλέπει ο ιστορικός και ετοιμάζεται να το διηγηθεί ως νέαν ανακάλυψιν της τύχης των εθνών, το βλέπει ο πολιτικός και γίνεται σκεπτικότερος και προφυλακτικότερος. Τόσον παράδοξος είναι ο καιρός εις τον οποίον ζούμεν αγαπητοί μου Έλληνες! Η επανάστασις της Ελλάδος δεν είναι εποχή του έθνους μας μόνον, είναι εποχή όλων των εθνών, όλων των αιώνων, επειδή, καθώς σας είπα, είναι φαινόμενον μοναδικόν εις την πολιτικήν κατάστασιν των εθνών.

Αυτό το μοναδικόν φαινόμενον επαρατήρησεν ο μεγάλος νους του μεγαλόφρονος, του πολυθρηνήτου Μπάιρον, και ηθέλησε να ενώσει την αθάνατήν του δόξαν με την δόξαν σας και να εμβάσει το όνομά του εις την ιστορία των λαμπρών σας κατορθωμάτων. Δεν έγιναν και άλλαις επαναστάσεις εις ταις ημέραις του; Καμμίαν όμως δεν ακολούθησε, καμμίαν δεν υπερασπίσθη, επειδή ήτον πολλά διαφορετικός ο χαρακτήρ και πολλά διαφορετική η φύσις τους. Η μοναχή δόξα της Ελλάδος ήτον άξια δόξα δια εκείνον, τον οποίον δοξολογούν όλα τα σοφά στόματα. Βλέπετε, ω Έλληνες, βλέπετε εις τι καιρόν ζήτε, εις τι αγώνα εμβήκατε; Βλέπετε ότι με την δόξαν σας δεν ημπορεί να συγκριθεί καμμία δόξα περασμένη; Οι φιλελεύθεροι, οι φιλάνθρωποι, οι φιλόσοφοι όλων των εθνών, και μάλιστα της μεγαλόδωρης Αγγλίας, σας χαιρετούν όλοι μακρόθεν, όλοι σας συγχαίρονται, όλοι σας εμψυχώνουν, και ο ποιητής των καιρών μας, αγκαλά και στεφανωμένος αθανασίαν, εζήλευσε την δόξαν σας και ήλθε προσωπικώς να ξεπλύνει μαζί σας με το αίμα του τα μολυσμένα από την τυραννίαν χώματά μας.

Γεννημένος εις την λαμπρότατην μητρόπολιν της Λόνδρας, ευγενέστατος και από πατέρα και από μητέρα, πόσην χαράν αισθάνθηκε η φιλελληνική του καρδιά, όταν η πτωχή μας πόλις εις σημείον ευγνωμοσύνης, τον επολιτόγραψε; Εις αυτόν τον αγώνα του θανάτου του, ήγουν την στιγμήν όταν κρυμμένη η αιωνιότης δείχνεται εις τον άνθρωπον ευρισκόμενον εις τα όρια της θνητής και αθάνατης ζωής, όταν λέγω όλος ο ορατός κόσμος φαίνεται ένα μόνον σημείον ως προς τα λαμπρά έργα της θείας παντοδυναμίας, εις εκείνην την φοβεράν ώραν ο πολυένδοξος τούτος νεκρός αφήνοντας τον κόσμον όλον εβάσταξεν εις το στόμα του μονάχα δύο ονόματα, της μονάκριβης και πολυαγαπημένης του κόρης και της Ελλάδος. Αυτά τα δύο ονόματα βαθειά ριζωμένα εις τα σπλάχνα του, μήτε η στιγμή του θανάτου δεν μπόρεσε να τα εξαλείψη. «Κόρη μου!» είπεν, «Ελλάς!» είπεν, και η φωνή του έλειψε! Ποία ελληνική καρδία να μη συντρίβεται όσαις φοραίς ενθυμείται αυτήν την περίστασιν;

Δεκτά βέβαια, αγαπητοί μου Έλληνες, πολύ δεκτά είναι εις την σκιάν του τα δάκρυά μας, επειδή είναι δάκρυα ειλικρινή, δάκρυα των κληρονόμων της αγάπης του. Αλλά πολύ δεκτότερα δι’ αυτόν θα είναι τα έργα μας δια την πατρίδα, τα οποία και χωρισμένος από ημάς, θα παρατηρεί επάνωθεν από τους ουρανούς, τους οποίους του άνοιξεν η αρετή του· αυτήν και μοναχήν την ευγνωμοσύνην γυρεύει από ημάς εις ταις ευεργεσίαις του, αυτήν την ανταμοιβήν εις την προς ημάς αγάπην του, αυτήν την ελάφρωσιν εις ταις ταλαιπωρίαις του, αυτήν την πληρωμήν δια τον χαμόν της πολύτιμης ζωής του. Όταν, αγαπητοί μου Έλληνες, η δύναμίς σας κατορθώσει να αποσυντρίψει τα χέρια οπού μας αλυσόδεναν, τα χέρια οπού άρπαζαν από ταις αγκάλαις μας τους αδελφούς, τα τέκνα, την κατάστασίν μας, τότε θα χαρεί η σκιά του, τότε θα αγαλλιασθεί η κόνις του· ναι, εις την μακαρίαν εκείνην ώραν του ευτυχισμένου τέλους των αγώνων σας ο αρχιερεύς θ’ απλώνει την ιεράν του και ελεύθερην δεξιάν και θα ευλογεί και αγιάζει τον πολυένδοξον τάφον του, το Παλικάρι ζωσμένον το σπαθί από τα τυραννικά αίματα βαμμένον θα τον στολίζει με δάφναις, ο Πολιτικός με εγκώμια, ο Ποιητής γυρμένος εις την αρμονικότατην ταφόπετράν του θα γίνεται ποιητικώτερος τότε ανθοστεφανωμέναις οι Παρθέναις της Ελλάδος, την μαγευτικήν ωραιότητα των οποίων έψαλεν ο πολυένδοξος συμπολ´θτης μας Μπαρων εις πολλά του ποιήματα, τότε τα ωραία μας τέκνα, χωρίς πλέον να φοβούνται να μολυνθούν από τα αρπαχτικά χέρια των τυράννων μας, θα σταίνουν χορόν τριγύρω εις τον τάφον του, τραγουδώντας τα κάλλη της γης μας, τα οποία με τόσην χάριν και αλήθειαν ο ποιητής του αιώνος μας έψαλεν.

Αλλά ποία ιδέα λυπηρή μου έρχεται τώρα εις τον νουν; με επλάνεσεν η φαντασία μου, ενόμισα ότι βλέπω όσα η καρδία μου επιθυμεί υπόθεσα ευλογίαις Αρχιερέων, δφνοστεφανώματα, ύμνους, χορούς τριγύρω εις τον τάφον του ευεργέτου της Ελλάδος· αλλά ο τάφος αυτό δεν θέλει έχει μέσα του τα πολύτιμα λείψανα αυτού του ευεργέτου! άδειος θα μείνει ο τάφος! το σώμα του ολίγαις ημέραις ακόμη μένει εις το πρόσωπον της γης μας της νέας Πατρίδας του! δεν παραδίδεται εις ται αγκάλαις της! μεταφέρεται εις την γην, την οποίαν ετίμησεν η γέννησίς του!

Αι ιδικαίς σου αγκάλες, ακριβή του και πολυαγαπητή θυγάτερ, αι ιδικαί σου θα το δεχθούν, τα δάκρυα τα εδικά σου θα παρηγορήσουν τον σωματοφόρον τάφον του, και τα δάκρυα των ορφανών Ελλήνων θέλει χύνονται πάνω εις την θήκη του πολυτιμότατου πνεύμονός του και απάνω εις όλην την γην της Ελλάδος, επειδή όλη η γη της Ελλάδος του είναι ο τάφος του· καθώς εις ταις υστεριναίς στιγμαίς της ζωής του, εσέ, εις την Ελλάδα είχεν εις την καρδίαν του και εις τα χείλη του, δίκαιον ήταν και ύστερα από τον θάνατόν του να λάβη και αυτή μερίδιον από τα μεγαλοτίμητα λείψανά του. Η πατρίδα του, το Μεσολόγγι, σφιχταγκαλιάζει, ως σύμβολον της αγάπης του τον πνεύμονά του, δέξου και συ, γλυκύτατε καρπέ της καρδίας του αποθανόντος, δέξου το πτώμα του, την καρδίαν του, τα εντόσθιά του· σου τα ξεπροβοδεί όλη η Ελλάς μαυροφορεμένη, όλη απαρηγόρητη· σου τα ξεπροβοδεί με όλην την εκκλησιαστικήν, την πολιτικήν και στρατιωτικήν τιμήν και παράταξιν, και με όλον το πλήθος των συμπολιτών του Μεσολογγιτών και ομογενών του Ελλήνων· σου τα ξεπροβοδεί στεφανωμένα με την ευγνωμοσύνην της, παρηγορημένα με τα δάκρυά της, συνωδευμένα, με τας θεοδέκτους ευχάς και ευλογίας του πανιερωτάτου Αρχιεπισκόπου μας, του αληθινού ζηλωτού της ελευθερίας του γένους, Κυρίου Πορφυρίου, του φιλοπάτριδος αγίου επισκόπου (Ρωγών) Κυρ. Ιωσήφ, και ολου του κλήρου. Μάθε, ευγενεστάτη κόρη, μάθε ότι στρατηγοί τα εβάσταξαν εις τους ώμους τους, και τα έφεραν εις την εκκλησίαν· χιλιάδες Έλληνες στρατιώται εσκέπαζαν τα δεξιά και αριστερά μέρη του δρόμου, όθεν τα εδιάβαιναν, και τα στόματα των τουφεκιών, οπού εκατάφαγαν τόσους και τόσους τυράννους, ήσαν όλα γυρμένα κατά την γην, ωσάν να ήθελαν να πολεμήσουν την γην, οπού τους άρπαξε τον ειλικρινή φίλο τους. Όλα αυτά τα πλήθη των στρατιωτών με το σπαθί τούτην την στιγμήν εις την μέση, με το τουφέκι εις τον ώμον, και έτοιμα να εκστρατεύσουν εναντίον του άσπονδου εχθρού του Χριστού και του ανθρώπου, περικυκλώνουν το νεκρικόν κρεββάτι, και ορκίζονται να μη λησμονήσουν ποτέ τας θυσίας του πατρός σου, και ποτέ να μην αφήσουν να πατηθή από βάρβαρον και τυραννικόν ποδάρι ο τόπος εις τον οποίον ευρίσκονται απομεινάρια του. Χιλιάδες στόματα χριστιανικά ανοίγονται αυτήν την στιγμήν, και ο ναός του Υψίστου Θεού των Χριστιανών αναβοά όλος ύμνους, όλος ικεσίας, δια να κατευοδωθούν τα σεβάσμια λείψανά του εις την πατρικήν του γην, και να αναπαυθή η ψυχή του όπου οι δίκαιοι αναπαύονται».

Σπυρίδωνος Τρικούπη λόγοι επικήδειοι και επινίκειοι εκφωνηθέντες εις επήκοον του λαού επί της Ελληνικής Επαναστάσεως. Αίγινα Εθνικό Τυπογραφείο, 1829.

French Corfu

The French Occupation of Corfu – 1797-1799 & 1807-1814

By Frank Giles

On 8 May 1797, following Napoleon Bonaparte’s brilliant campaign in Northern Italy, the Venetian Senate signified its readiness to accept the conqueror’s terms. La Serenissima had politically ceased to exist and its empire lay open to the first taker. Napoleon was in no doubt who that should be. He always considered, to the point of obsession, that the Ionian Islands, Corfu principal among them, were the key to the Eastern Mediterranean and thus to the route to the Orient. Accordingly he hastened to take possession of Corfu and the other islands, employing the artful ruse of combining a French fleet with a Venetian convoy, the ships sailing under the Venetian flag.

When the fleet arrived at the end of June 1797 French troops, under the command of the Corsican general Gentili, were initially well received. Most of the population welcomed the promise of new liberties and an end to the power of aristocracy. These feelings did not last very long. The newcomers caused much offence by appointing two Jews to the Municipal Council, as well as by their disrespectful attitude towards religion, which included – horror of horrors – the mocking of St Spyridon.

Yet this first French occupation, formalised by the Treaty of Campo Formio’s transfer of sovereignty to France, brought some tangible benefits. In May 1798 the French installed in Corfu the first printing press to be known in Greece. They also abolished the feudal system, burnt the Libro d’Oro, laid down plans for improved education and substituted Greek for Italian as the official language (though this last edict had no particular effect until much later).

But none of this was enough to win the cooperation of the islanders, who soon discovered that these revolutionary French were just as penniless and just as inclined to impose taxes as the Venetians. When therefore Russia and Turkey joined the second coalition against France and dispatched a combined fleet to reconquer the islands, their troops found in some of them a ready welcome. Corfu, with its French garrison, proved a tougher nut to crack. Only after several months’ siege and some fierce engagement did the French commander Chabot admit himself beaten. When Russian troops entered Corfu town in March 1799, they were enthusiastically greeted and the church bells pealed. The tactful Russian commander, Admiral Ushakov, proceeded immediately to St Spyridon’s church, there to give thanks for the victory.

For the next seven years, the seven islands enjoyed the status of an independent federal state – the Septinsular Republic – under the protection of Russia, but paying tribute to Constantinople. It was a curious and unnatural arrangement. […] By 1807 the Franco-Russian Treaty of Tilsit had restored the islands to French rule.

This second French occupation (1807-1814) was marked first by the wise and humane rule of Governor-General Donzelot (one of the main streets in Corfu town, bordering the harbour, is called after him), and second by the conquest of the southern Ionian Islands by the British and by their not very energetic blockade of Corfu. The executive powers were administered by the French Governor-General and the Senate, which in 1807 appointed a government limited to three ministers: Finance – Count Sordinas, Home Affairs – Count Flamburiari, Justice and Public Order – Count Karatzas. Donzelot remained firmly in control of the islands, and by these reforms and efficient administration made France as popular as before she had been unpopular. This time not only was St Spyridon not ridiculed, but his processions were carried out with proper respect and splendour. Newspapers were published, the Ionian Academy for the Encouragement of the Arts and Sciences founded, agriculture improved, and the whole system of government, still based upon mediaeval Venetian laws overhauled. Under the direction of Mathieu de Lesseps (father of the future creator of the Suez Canal), work began on building “Liston” on the north side of the Esplanade, the handsome houses rising above arcades, which recall the Rue de Rivoli in Paris.

Napoleon’s abdication in 1814 was followed by a tightening of the British blockade. Donzelot held out until the receipt of an order from the restored Louis XVIII to give way, and on 21 June 1814 Corfu came under the control of the British troops. […] Finally, in November 1815, a Treaty was signed in Paris under which the seven islands were defined as constituting “a single free and independent state under the exclusive protection of His Britannic Majesty”.

[Frank Giles, “History: The British Protectorate” in Corfu: The Garden Isle. London, UK: John Murray, 1994, pp 45-46]

This presentation is curated by Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD


Petrus Bertius (Beveren, 1565- Paris, 1629). Tabularum Geographicarum Contractarum Libri Septem – Corfu, 1616. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
Joseph Roux (France, Marseille, 1725-1789). Map of Anchorage of Corfu, 1764. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
Napoléon Bonaparte (France, 1769-1821). Proclamation to the Egyptians, 2 July 1798. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
Anonymous (France ?). Costume of Heptanese Order of Joseph-Napoléon, 1808. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
André Grasset de Saint-Sauveur (France, 1724-1794). View of the City of Corfu and its Port, 1800. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
Jacques Couché (France, 1759-1835). Corfu, c. 1810. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
François Pouqueville (France, 1770-1838). View of Corfu, 1835. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
François Pouqueville (France, 1770-1838). View of Lefkada, 1835. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
Étienne Rey (France, 1789-1867). Corfu – Point at Chrysiida, where the Gardens of Alcinous were, 1844 / 1867. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society, Corfu Old Town.
Maxim Gauci (Malta, 1774-1854). Types of Corfu: Chief Justice / Inspector of Health / Greek Priest / Merchant / Street Dancer / Violinist / Notable Bulgarian / Cattle Contractor, 1807-1832. Watercolour on paper, 30 x 19 cm. Courtesy of Count Flamburiari Art Collection.
Maxim Gauci (Malta, 1774-1854). Portrait of the Minister of Justice, Count Ioannis Karatzas, 1807. Watercolour on paper, 30 x 19 cm. Courtesy of Count Flamburiari Art Collection.
Anonymous (Italian ?). Portrait of Count Anastasio Flamburiari (1774-1828), c. 1810. Courtesy of San Stefano Estate, Benitses, Corfu.
Imperial Decree signed by General César Berthier and executed by the Minister of Home Affairs Count Anastasio Flamburiari, Corfu,    9 September 1807. Printed on paper, 28 x 40 cm. Courtesy of Count Spiro Flamburiari Collection, Corfu.
Imperial Decree signed by General César Berthier and executed by the Minister of Home Affairs Count Anastasio Flamburiari, Corfu,  24 September 1807. Printed on paper, 18 x 21  cm. Courtesy of Count Spiro Flamburiari Collection, Corfu.

Hymn to Liberty


The Corfu Heritage Foundation, under the auspices and with the support of the Region of Ionian Islands and with the collaboration of the Municipality of Corfu, the Ionian University and the Cultural Foundation of Tinos, presents the art exhibition “Hymn to Liberty” curated by Art Historian Dr Megakles Rogakos.

Desiring to promote the role of the national poet Dionysios Solomos (1798-1857) in the celebration 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 Region of Ionian Islands brought under its auspices events bearing the general title “Hymn to Liberty”. Part of these events, which include lectures and concerts, are two art exhibitions curated by Dr Rogakos – “Hymn to Liberty”, a historical exhibition at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu (4 – 31 August 2021) and “Ex-Staseis: Attempts at the Representation of Liberty”, an exhibition of contemporary art at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos (10 July – 10 September 2021).

The historical exhibition “Hymn to Liberty” includes the following sections of portraits: 1) important personalities of the Neohellenic Enlightenment: Rigas Velestinlis, Antonios Martelaos, Andreas Kalvos and Adamantios Korais; 2) of the leaders of the national anthem: Dionysios Solomos and Nikolaos Halikiopoulos-Mantzaros; 3) all the central heroes of the Struggle of Independence: the “Greeks” series by Adam Friedel and the sculptural busts and statues by George Megoulas; 4) Ioannis Kapodistrias by Sir Thomas Lawrence; and 5) central figures of the Philhellenism: Lord Byron and Jean-Gabriel Eynard. In addition, it presents depictions of important moments of the Struggle – the Siege of Nafplio (1821), the Fall of Tripolitsa (1821), the Exodus of Missolonghi (1826); and the Battle of Navarino (1827). Remarkable is the presentation of the monumental “Charta of Greece” by Rigas Velestinlis by François Müller in its full development with twelve parts at 200 x 210 cm, with the kind permission of the Gennadius Library. Finally, it is also worth mentioning the inclusion of the View of the Strada Reale in Corfu (1836) by Samuel Prut, which gives a rare picture of the period, with the kind permission of the Varkarakis Philhellenic Collection, Athens.

The album that accompanies the exhibition is a wide tribute to the national anniversary of 1821. It includes studies on the Greek Revolution by experts (Spyros Nicolaou, Nikolaos Kourkoumelis and Helena Matheopoulos), a presentation of the ancestors, heroes and supporters of the Rebirth (Megakles Rogakos, Georgios Kentroti and Xeni Baloti) and special research, supported by the Region of Ionian Islands, on the role of the Heptanese in the National Liberation Struggle (Giannis Pieris for Corfu, Katerina Demeti for Zakynthos, Theodora Zafeiratou for Kefalonia; Maria Roussou & Maria Tassopoulou for Lefkada, Machi Paizi-Apostolopoulou for Ithaca, Eleni Harou-Koronaiou for Kythira; and Spyros Bogdanos for Paxoi). The second part, which concerns the exhibition of contemporary art entitled “Ex-Staseis”, includes a treatise and a brief commentary on each exhibit by the curator of the exhibition. It is developed in 200 pages and is offered at the symbolic price of 20 € and is available in two languages ​​– Greek and English.

The co-organisers of the events with the general title “Hymn to Liberty” – the Ionian Islands Region, the Municipality of Corfu, the Ionian University, the Corfu Heritage Foundation and the Cultural Foundation of Tinos – express their gratitude to the Piraeus Bank, the Aegeas Non Profit Company and Marina, Lady Marks.

Opening: The opening of the exhibition will take place at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu on Wednesday, 4 August 2021, at 20:00.

Exhibition Hours: The exhibition will be open to the public from 4 to 31 August 2021 – Tuesday to Sunday, 10:00-16:00 (except Mondays and holidays).

Communication: Municipal Gallery of Corfu, Palace of St Michael & St George, Corfu, GR 49100, +30 26610 48690,

Visual Material: High-resolution images of the poster and the works in the exhibition can be found at the following hyperlink:

Poster of the “Hymn to Liberty” exhibition.
François Müller (1755-1816). “The Charta of Greece” by Rigas Velestinlis, 1797. Etching on paper, 200 x 210 cm. Courtesy of the Gennadius Library, Athens.
Anonymous Greek. Portrait of Adamantios Korais (1748-1833), c. 1840. Oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm. Courtesy of the National Historical Museum, Athens.
Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830). Portrait of Ioannis Kapodistrias (1776-1831), 1819. Oil on canvas, 130 x 103 cm. Courtesy of the Royal Collection Trust, Windsor.
Spyros Goggakis (1923-2001). Bust of Lord Byron (1788-1824), c. 1980. Gilded plaster, 27 x 20 x 13 cm. Courtesy of Megakles Rogakos, London.
George Megoulas (b. 1955). Equestrian Statue of Georgios Karaiskakis (1782-1827), 2012. Plaster, 86 x 80 x 33 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Corfu.
Samuel Prout (1783-1852). View of the Strada Reale in Corfu, 1836. Tempera on paper, 103 x 160 cm. Courtesy of the Varkarakis Philhellenic Collection, Athens.
“Hymn to Liberty” exhibition ground plan at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu.
“Hymn to Liberty”
Festival of Corfu 2021 for the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution
Curated by Megakles Rogakos, MA MA Phd

(paperback 200 pages; 30 x 21 cm; 20€)
GR Edition ISBN: 978-618-83770-1-1
EN Edition ISBN: 978-618-83770-2-8


4 – Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, Governor of the Region of Ionian Islands
4 – Spiro Flamburiari, President of the Corfu Heritage Foundation
5 – Andreas Floros, Rector of the Ionian University
6 – Evangelos Paraskevas-Gizis, President of the Culture Foundation of Tinos
7 – George Hantzinicolaou & Christos Megalou, Piraeus Bank

I. Studies
8 – Spyros I. Nicolaou, “The European Dimension of the Greek Revolution”
12 – Nikolaos K. Kourkoumelis, “The Filiki Eteria in Corfu, the Persons and the Connections”
15 – Helena Matheopoulos, “The Greek Revolution of 1821 as Inspiration in Music”

II. “The Ideal of Liberty with Poetry and Music” by Megakles Rogakos
20 – The Hymn to Liberty of Dionysios Solomos
24 – Nikolaos Halikiopoulos-Mantzaros, Founder of the Ionic School of Music
26 – Andreas Kalvos
28 – Georgios Kentrotis, “Solomos and Mantzaros: Patriots and Co-Creators of the National Anthem”
III. “Ancestors: Neohellenic Enlightenment” by Megakles Rogakos
30 – Rigas Velestinlis, Ethno-Martyr of the Greek Revolution
31 – Adamantios Korais, Representative of the Neohellenic Enlightenment
32 – Grigorios V, Hieromartyr of the Greek Revolution
33 – “Philhellenic Plates”
34 – “The Charta of Greece” by Rigas Velestinlis
36 – Adamantios Korais: A Spiritual Leader
40 – The Earl of Guilford, Founder of the Ionian Academy

IV. “Heroes of the Greek Revolution of 1821” by Megakles Rogakos
42 – “The Significance and Necessity of the Heroes of 1821”
44 – The Panhellenic Heroön of 1821 at Pedion Areos: Alexandros Ypsilantis, Notis Botsaris, Dimitrios Ypsilantis, Kitsos Tzavellas, Petrobey Mavromichalis, Konstantinos Kanaris, Domna Visvizi, Markos Botsaris, Georgios Karaïskakis, Andreas Miaoulis, Nikitaras, Emmanouil Papas, Nikolaos Kriezotis, Dimitrakis Plapoutas, Dimitrios Papanikolis, Manto Mavrogenous, Athanasios Diakos, Theodoros Kolokotronis, Odysseus Androutsos, Palaion Patron Germanos, Laskarina Bouboulina and Grigorios Dikaios Papaflessas
67 – The Greeks by Adam Friedel: Alexandros Mavrokordatos, Dimitrios Ypsilantis, Theodoros Kolokotronis, Laskarina Bouboulina, Nikitaras, Petros Mavromichalis, Panoutzos Notaras, Ioannis Kolettis, Lord George Gordon Byron, Odysseas Androutsos, Manto Mavrogenous, Konstantinos Kanaris, Germanos, Hourshid Paşa, Andreas Miaoulis, Ali Bey Kapudan Paşa, Joseph Balestra, Fotios Karapanos, Papaflessas, Ioannis Skandalidis, Notis Botsaris, Ioannis Mavromichalis, Ali Paşs and Ioannis Logothetis
69 – The Medals of the Heroes at the Royal Palace: Georgios Kountouriotis, Petrobey Mavromichalis, Theodoros Kolokotronis, Rigas Velestinlis, Alexandros Ypsilantis, Paleon Patron Germanos, Andreas Zaimis, Georgios Karaiskakis, Anastasios Tsamados, Andreas Miaoulis, Dimitrios Ypsilantis, Nikolaso Apostolis, Panagiotis Botasis and Frank Hastings
70 – Artworks from the Count Flamburiari Collection, Corfu
72 – Heroes & Patritots by the Sculptor George Megoulas
75 – Invitation of the Committee of the Ionian Corps to the Ionians and other Patriots

V. Ionian Patriotism
78 – Corfu: Giannis S. Pieris, “The National Consciousness in the Ionian Area”
86 – Zakynthos: Katerina Demeti, “The Contribution of Zakynthos to the Greek Revolution”
98 – Kefalonia: Theodora Zafeiratou, “Kefalonia in the Revolution of 1821”
106 – Lefkada: Maria Roussou & Maria Tassopoulou, “The Contribution of Lefkada to the Greek Revolution of 1821”
112 – Ithaca: Machi Paizi-Apostolopoulou, “Ithaca in the Preparation of the National Struggle”
118 – Kythira: Eleni Harou-Koronaiou, “Kythira in the Struggle of the National Rebirth”
124 – Paxoi: Spyros Ch. Bogdanos, “The Paxian Fighters of 1821”

VI. “Great Moments of the Greek Revolution of 1821” by Megakles Rogakos
130 – The Battle of Sculeni: Sacrifice in the Greek War of Independence
131 – The Battle of Dervenakia and the Strategic Genius of Kolokotronis
132 – The Exodus of Missolonghi
133 – The Naval Battle of Navarino: A European Victory
134 – The Obelisk for 1716: A Monument for the Prevalence of the West in Corfu

VII. “Great Personalities of the Greek Revolution of 1821” by Megakles Rogakos
138 – Lord Byron: Leading Philhellene English Poet
140 – The Hellas of 1821 of Shelley
141 – Xeni D. Baloti, “200th Anniversary of the Death of Napoléon Bonaparte: His Relations with Greece”
142 – Count Ioannis Kapodistrias
143 – General Ioannis Makrygiannis

145 – Spyros I. Nicolaou, “The Legacy of the Greek Revolution of 1821”

Ex-Staseis: Attempts at the Representation of Liberty
146 – Introduction by Megakles Rogakos
160 – Contemporary Artists: Manolis Anastasakos, Annita Argyroiliopoulou, Nikos Basias, Thomas Bertolis, Ismini Bonatsou, Lamprini Boviatsou, Thodoros Brouskomatis, Manolis Charos, Costis, Kyriakos Chatzimichailidis, Alexandros Dimitriadis, Milly Flamburiari, Dimosthenis Gallis, Christos Garoufalis, Nikos Giavropoulos, Stella Kapezanou, Vassilis Karakatsanis, Harris Kondosphyris, Aggelika Korovessi, Vassiliki Koskiniotou, Nikos Kryonidis, Kostas Lavdas, Agalis Manessi, Panayiotis Masonidis, George Megoulas, Dimitris Miliotis, Ioannis Monogyios, Konstantinos Patsios, Margarita Petrova, Lena Platonos, Marina Provatidou, Rania Rangou, Dimitris Sevastakis, Vassilis Solidakis, Tita Stavrou, Petros Stravoravdis, Praxitelis Tzanoulinos, Katia Varvaki, Chryssa Vathianaki and Andreas Zymvragos
The Governor of Ionian Islands, Rodi Kratsa, presents to the Minister of Development Adonis Georgiadis, the album “Hymn to Liberty”, 30 September 2021, Athens.
The Governor, Rodi Kratsa, before the Flamburiari portraits – Nikolaos, Anastasios and Dionysios – at the Solomos Museum & Eminent Zakynthians, 25 October 2021, Zakynthos.

The President of the Hellenic Republic at the Cavalieri Hotel

Count Flamburiari welcomes the President in front of the Cavalieri Hotel.
Count Flamburiari draws the President’s attention at the commemorative plaque for George Rallis.

Her Excellency President of the Hellenic Republic, Mrs Katerina Sakellaropoulou, and the Governor of the Ionian Islands, Mrs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou, are being welcomed by Count Spiro Flamburiari at the entrance of the Cavalieri Hotel. The President stayed at the Cavalieri Hotel for two days, the 20th and 21st of May 2021, during her visit to celebrate the Unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece. The Governor offered a dinner in honour of the President on the Roof Garden of the Cavalieri Hotel on the evening of the 20th of May.

Count Flamburiari remarked, “It was a great honour and pleasure to welcome the President of the Hellenic Republic at the Cavalieri Hotel. The personality of Mrs Sakellaropoulou made a great impression on all of us. She has a charming personality, a delightful appearance and a down-to-earth attitude”.

“The President of the Hellenic Republic in Corfu”, Kerkyraiki Apopsi – Corfiots View, 20 May 2021.



The Cultural Foundation of Tinos in collaboration with the Corfu Heritage Foundation presents the visual art exhibition “Ex-Staseis: Attempts at the Representation of Liberty” curated by Art Historian Dr Megakles Rogakos.

Rationale: On the occasion of celebrating 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 issue of liberty stands out. The Region of Ionian Islands aimed to promote the role of the national poet Dionysios Solomos with events that bear the general title “Hymn to Liberty”. Part of these events, which include lectures and concerts, are two visual art exhibitions curated by Dr Rogakos – “Hymn to Liberty”, a historical exhibition at the Municipal Gallery of Corfu (4 – 31 August 2021), and “Ex-Staseis: Attempts at the Representation of Liberty”, an exhibition of contemporary art at the Cultural Foundation of Tinos (10 July – 10 September 2021).

Facts: The Ex-Staseis exhibition is thematic and concerns the evolving conception of liberty, as defined in the past and shaped by the present. The concept of liberty is multifaceted and lends itself to philosophical analysis. In the colonial past, the subject of liberty was morally instructive with the specific aim of eliminating the enslaving yoke, which was a necessary condition for the creation of an independent state with free citizens. At present, in an increasingly materialistic age, the subject is mainly about inner liberty, that is, the independence of thought and action from the gravity of authorities, superstitions, superstitions and prejudices. Looking at the cultural history of the world, only a few facts about liberty stand out. This exhibition explores the origins and evolution of the idea of ​​liberty and examines its current significance, based on these facts.

Explanation: The ttile Ex-Staseis is a witticism, etymologically derived from the composite verb existimi (ek + istimi), which means an intense mystical experience in which the mystic eliminates contact with reality and the world of the senses and is interested in the spirit and direct communication with the divine element. Here, it has the character of a word pun that works the same in Greek and English. It means the transgression, the state of coming out of oneself, which supposedly occurs when one experiences the essence of freedom. The poster of the exhibition presents the ptinopous, the mythological human foot of Hermes that bears feathers and enables him to exceed the possibilities of walking. Here, it is of interest for the paradoxical but interesting combination of the foot as a point of contact with the earth and the wings that lift it from the ground. In this way it refers to the term ex-staseis of the exhibition, as a means of transgression from material reality towards spiritual liberation.

Works:The Ex-Staseis include works by contemporary Greek artists on the subject of the current dimension of the concept of freedom. 40 artists present one work each that will emerge from their research on the ecstasy that leads to intellectual freedom as transcending the boundaries of space and time. The artists are: Manolis Anastasakos, Annita Argyroiliopoulou, Nikos Basias, Thomas Bertolis, Ismini Bonatsou, Lamprini Boviatsou, Thodoros Brouskomatis, Manolis Charos, Kyriakos Chatzimichailidis, Costis, Alexandros Dimitriadis, Milly Flamburiari, Dimosthenis Gallis, Christos Garoufalis, Nikos Giavropoulos, Stella Kapezanou, Vassilis Karakatsanis, Harris Kondosphyris, Aggelika Korovessi, Vassiliki Koskiniotou, Nikos Kryonidis, Kostas Lavdas, Agalis Manessi, Panayiotis Masonidis, George Megoulas, Dimitris Miliotis, Ioannis Monogyios, Konstantinos Patsios, Margarita Petrova, Lena Platonos, Marina Provatidou, Rania Rangou, Dimitris Sevastakis, Vassilis Solidakis, Tita Stavrou, Petros Stravoravdis, Praxitelis Tzanoulinos, Katia Varvaki, Chryssa Vathianaki and Andreas Zymvragos. The works were selected based also on the criterion to be representative of the latest trends in international contemporary artistic production.

Album: The album that accompanies the exhibition is a broad tribute to the national anniversary of 1821. It includes studies on the Greek Revolution, presentation of the forerunners and heroes of the National Rebirth and special research, supported by the Region of Ionian Islands, on the role of the Heptanese in the National Liberation Struggle. The second part, which concerns the Ex-Staseis, includes a treatise and a brief commentary on each exhibit by the curator of the exhibition. It is offered at the symbolic price of 20 € and is available in two languages ​​- Greek and English.

Additional Action: In the context of the exhibition, educational activities will be carried out for children, teenagers and the general public.

Sponsorship: The co-organisers of the events with the general title “Hymn to Liberty” – Region of Ionian Islands, Ionian University, Cultural Foundation of Tinos and Corfu Heritage Foundation – express their gratitude to the Piraeus Bank for the sponsorship.

Opening Day: The opening of the exhibition will take place on Saturday, 10 July 2021 at 20:00 in the Nikolaos Gyzis Exhibition Hall of ITIP.

Opening Time: The exhibition will remain open to the public until 10 September 2021 – Mon, Wed, Thu: 09:00-15:00, Fri-Sun: 10:30-14:00 & 19:00-21:00.

Contact: Cultural Foundation of Tinos, Akti Georgiou Drosou, Tinos, GR 84200, +30 22830 229070,

Visual Material: High resolution images from the poster and works in the exhibition can be found at the following hyperlink:

1.- Manolis Anastasakos (Athens, b. 1977). Liberty, 2011. Oil and enamel on paper pressed on wood, 82 x 77 cm. Courtesy of a Private Collection, Athens.

In his work Liberty, Manolis Anastasakos before 1933 converses with a work of the same title by Constantinos Parthenis (1878-1967) as a visual ancestor. He recognizes the virtues of the old work and updates them. He carries liberty in today’s era in its terms. He refers to a triune shape: nature as floral decoration, society as machine gears, and god as the key. Liberty resides in nature with the abundance of fruit, the changes in the weather and the succession of the seasons. The floral decoration frames the right side of the work. For liberty to thrive the material environment of society must encourage it. That is why, machine gears balance the other side of the composition. Liberty opens doors. At the top hangs a key from a blue ribbon. It is derived from the divine, outside the frame. For Anastasakos liberty is an archangelic figure without gender, a Renaissance force which promises hope in a dark era. Beyond the earthy palette, which symbolises the organic dimension of life, he adds white and black tones, which refer to the harsh contrast of modern technology. Liberty seeks in the sky something superior, unattainable, a utopia. Anastasakos’ work refers to the ascetic condition where the realisation of liberty depends on the harmonious assembly of its three modes of existence.

2.- Annita Argyroiliopoulou (Athens, b. 1960). Little Before, 2013. Mixed media: charcoal, plexiglass and found branches, 157 x 155 cm. Courtesy of Ekfrasi – Yianna Grammatopoulou, Athens.

Inspired by the biological edge of a teenager who comes of age, the Little Before of Annita Argyroiliopoulou presents the figure of a human body ready to fly. The moment still finds it on the earth, in a position similar to that which the birds take when they open their wings. On her back she grows branches, not like in the myth of Daphne, but to become wings that will allow her to fly away. Light, not compact material, the branches are structural elements of nature, which start from the solid earth and grow upwardly. Here the feather-branches become the farewell of the mother, the wish for the adolescent to fly away towards the liberty of adulthood that resides within her. The work condenses a moment, but at the same time contains the before and after. The frame is not a barrier literally or metaphorically, since shortly afterwards the winged adult will find herself beyond that, where she will travel by every respective viewer that converses with the work. Besides the wings-branches are already growing and exceeding the limits of the stretcher. The flight to the unchartered areas of liberty is inevitable and its realisation is only a matter of time.

3.- Nikos Basias (Athens, b. 1956). The truly happy man is only the free one, 2021. Thermal print on aluminium, 100 x 60 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Chania.

Cypriot cynic philosopher Demonax (c. 100-170 AD) reported that “the truly happy man is only the free one”. That substantial happiness can well be discerned in the particular Statue of Liberty that Thomas Thomopoulos erected at Profitis Elias, Chania, in 1937. The face of the goddess Athena once shone with a smile of satisfaction and the originally coloured huge blue eyes. Unfortunately, since 1968 it lies scattered in the area where it once proudly stood. The Chaniot photographer Nikos Basias was interested in this important statue. In his work he composed its story through historical and contemporary photographs in the form of a puzzle. In the centre of the composition he placed a photograph of the intact marble model that is kept in the Prefecture Hall of Chania. In various strategic positions, he used three photographs of the archive – one from the workshop at the moment that the sculptor is making the statue; another where the sculptor supervises its erection with scaffolding on the ground; and finally of a colourful postcard that presents it complete in its environment. Additionally, he completed the history with photographs from the shards of the statue as they are laid on the site. He took care especially the parts of the legs, the shield and face to match with corresponding points of the model. Although the pieces of the puzzle are presented as evidence of history with gaps between them, they give a unified image of the situation and beg for the moral restoration of the statue and the mental defence of liberty. The magnifying lens of the photographer focuses on the engraved word “liberty” as the supreme ideal of Demonax.

4.- Thomas Bertolis (Athens, b. 1973). Pegasus, 2011. Baked clay, 62 x 41 x 53 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Pegasus was the full white winged horse of Greek mythology. Legends abound about his supernatural origins and his wild and proud nature. The very ability of flight is always considered a universal symbol of liberty and the free spirit. Despite symbolising the idea of untamed free spirit, Pegasus was domesticated by Bellerophon in order to help him defeat the evil Chimera. However, he remained free in his heart and wise beyond human understanding. Thomas Bertholis was interested in Pegasus as an idol that combines fantasy with liberty. With a spontaneous zest for creation he modelled a winged horse starting from the ancient Greek idea updated with the current standard of automatic expression. Thus, while Pegasus has the characteristics of the being which composes a horse with the wings of the eagle, he is indifferent to the morphological imitation of nature. Guided by a spirit of pure love and style of child naivety, the artist seems to have modelled his own Pegasus with shut eyes and open the third eye of intuition. The result was an organic whole with strong legs that ground it steadily on the earth, banner-like wings that flutter decoratively and a tail like a rudder guiding his orientation. The pyramidal structure terminates with his head turned towards the sky. Made with a good heart and full emotion, this particular Pegasus becomes synonymous with the concept of liberty.

6.- Ismini Bonatsou (Kefalonia, b. 1964). Ecstasy, 2021. Graphite, charcoal, pastel and silk mounted on paper, 143 x 93 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Ismini Bonatsou believes that for the enslaved human the moment of acquiring the much-coveted liberty means ecstasy as divine transgression. This is the condition that Greece experienced when she rebelled against the Ottoman Empire in 1821 after four centuries of slavery. Thus, she wanted in her work to depict the moment of the transition from the event of victory to the state of absolute liberty. She chose to compose two symbols recognisable as Grecian with an ecumenical dimension. The basis of her work became the national flag of the 1st Hellenic Republic since 1822, with a white cross against a blue background. In the centre of the composition she placed the famous female figure from a photograph of Nelly’s, the Russian dancer Lila Nikolska, taken on the Acropolis of Athens, in November 1930. The work of the Asia Minor-born Nelly’s (1899-1998) is characterised by beauty, awareness and liberty. This particular photograph with the naked dancer in the air, well balanced with all the limbs of the body and gossamer veil forming an aura around her, was epoch-making and was admired in the Western world. This moment, for Bonatsou, is the ultimate personification of ecstasy. In her design, her black and white veil acquires blue highlights from the flag of victory. And the wonderful significance of ecstasy in the figure allows a slight upward shift of the flag’s holy cross. Viewed from nearby the flag indicates a wrinkled surface, a hint that liberty is acquired by fight, effort and struggle.

5.- Lamprini Boviatsou (Athens, b. 1975). Reconstruction of Liberty, 2021. Pencil and coloured pencils on canvas, 100 x 70. Courtesy of the Artist, Chania.

Lamprini Boviatsou is an Athenian who became an artist in Chania. As a child, she saw in her neighbourhood, in a part of the park, the fragments of an oversized statue left to their fate, which challenged her to reconstruct them. Seeking to learn the history of the statue, she noticed that the central axis of all the narratives was its modernist and paradoxical diversity, which provoked reactions and led to its destruction. The monumental sculpture, 17 metres high, was created in 1937 by the Smyrnaean sculptor Thomas Thomopoulos. It was erected on Profitis Elias and was facing towards the west of the city of Chania. It portrayed liberty as the goddess Athena and was dedicated to the liberation of Greece from the Ottoman yoke. With its monumental size it was visible from the ships that approached the port of the city. The sculptor from 1900 painted the marble in keeping with the practice of the ancients. Specifically, the Statue of Liberty had caused a sensation because it had huge blue eyes. The local community did not accept the statue and there were many critical comments that were published in the local press. It is said that it was destroyed by bad weather in 1968, but it more likely fell victim to the bad energy of the enemies of liberty, the junta in Greece. This story with the very symbolism that governs it and in fact at a time when everything in the world has been overturned, victimising above all the concept and the experience of liberty, impelled the artist to a desperate attempt to reconstruct the broken liberty within us. Because, while liberty takes effort and time to establish itself, an unfortunate moment may be enough for its collapse. It is even more difficult to restore it later. Through the strong light of its background, decisively emerges the figure of Liberty. Her rescued fragments are completed, where necessary, by limbs of the artist’s own body. A strange being emerged. The creator’s intention was not beauty, but vigilance about the defence of liberty, which is summed up in the reflections on her shield.

7.- Thodoros Brouskomatis (Katerini, b. 1963). Artificial Liberty, 2020. Digital print on aluminium, 50 x 65 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Thodoros Brouskomatis is keen on a pastiche of visual diachronicity and intertextuality. He appropriates a classical canvas to speak about the future via the past. For Artificial Liberty, he uses a characteristic work of Claude Lorrain entitled View of the Seaport of 1633, which is the result of the painter’s visionary landscape painting in a baroque mannerism. The landscape is flanked on the left by the upright remnant of an ancient temple and on the right by the wild nature that knows that the universe in due course will be subject to its power. The seaport hosts scattered galleys, even around a medieval tower that defines the centre of the picture. In the foreground, two sailors are flirting with a local woman. This familiar scene is orientalised by a conceptually incongruous collage. An airplane dominates the sky, peacocks decorate the vegetation, and oversized hibisci and a sterlitzia animate the forestage. Opposite the temple a censored pornstar of the Far East scandalises the viewers. On the top of the tower rises the Statue of Liberty of New York with the light of its torch radiating in the absolute centre of the composition. The mixing of disparate elements distorts the place and time, causing dizziness and chaos around the central reference point. Under the auspices of liberty, the lustful ecstasy anticipates lazily and defiantly its own exoneration.

8.- Kyriakos Chatzimichailidis (Thessaloniki, b. 1963). Resist, 2021. Video mp4, 2:30. Courtesy of the Non-Profit Civil Company t-shOrt, Athens.

The poet Michalis Katsaros (1919-1998) was a representative of the first post-war generation of Greek literature. He belonged to the romantic communists and wrote poems under the prims of the left wing politics. Being poor and downtrodden, he chose to live a totally ascetic life. His poem entitled My Covenant (1953) speaks with popular immediacy about the resistance that every man respecting himself must pursue towards everyday life, humility, servitude, solemnity, alienation, even the ascetic proposal of this very poem. Stripped from all the hypocrisy of social conventions, readers may put on Liberty – a dress that is a challenge for its huge size and unbearable weight. The film director Kyriakos Chatzimihailidis transferred the poetic work into a video to the delight of the viewers and the audience. With simple cinematic means – the graphics of the repeated imperative word as a background to the Dorian voice that recites the poem against The Rite of Spring (1913) of Igor Stravinsky – he announces to all the potential heirs of the covenant the ideal of Liberty.

9.- Manolis Charos (Kythira, b. 1960). Two Flames, 2021. Monotype on paper glued to aluminium, 120 x 90 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Dionysios Solomos in his work Dialogue, which he wrote in Zakynthos in 1824, says, “It calls for more than instructive words to avail a people, who fight for liberty which they lost for centuries, and create monsters! There are two flames, O teacher, one in the mind, the other in the heart, lit by nature in some people, who in different eras treat them in different ways to enjoy the same results”. This sentence is, for Manolis Charos, the definition of passion for liberty like the poet describes his dialogue with the most erudite one, with an intellectual of his time. In the 19th century the demand for liberty, a furthering of the demand for happiness as the French Revolution put it, runs through the people of Europe. Solomos highlights the relationship of liberty to the language of the people. He degrades the scholars who “fight for a reward to raise the language”, while he gives a major role to the informal and spontaneous language of the heroes who “shed their blood underneath the Cross to liberate us”. Furthermore, with reference to the flame, Solomos argues that the high struggle for liberty is a concern of the man that has an active mind and a healthy heart. This bipole had been indicated initially by Thales of Miletus who ruled that happy is the man “who is healthy by body, and wealthy by soul”. In his composition, Charos presents the two flames in a diagonal arrangement individually but also tangentially.

10.- Costis (Athens, b. 1950). Liberty demands both Virtue and Audacity, 2000. Found objects: tiller and protractor on a base of rubber. 90 x 22 x 22 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Believing that liberty is the highest good, for which every sacrifice is worthwhile, Andreas Kalvos wrote the legendary verse “liberty demands both virtue and audacity”. Costis is inspired by this verse in order to conceptually approach the issue of liberty that is acquired through struggles. He composes a work from found materials from the everyday life of a man of the sea and a scientist. A blue tiller, a lever that rotates the steering wheel in a boat, bears the name “Kalvos” and is based upright onto a square base that is oriented to the four cardinal points. On a wooden circular protractor he inscribes the said verse. Suspended diametrically by a loop, the protractor is hovering from the top of the tiller as a compass of some other orientation – internal, mental and divine. The public is invited to put the circle around its axis into motion in order to read the verse. The work defines the universal and timeless value of liberty through this free but also defined spin. With such directness and simplicity Costis familiarises the audience with the philosophy of liberty, which invites people to reflect on its significance and play an active role in its defence.

11.- Alexandros Dimitriadis (Volos, b. 1962). The Dream of Liberty, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 120 x 120 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

With The Dream of Liberty Alexandros Dimitriadis presents an imaginary landscape in a theatre setting. Straight tree trunks flank a serene sea. In the background, on both sides, there are mountains reminiscent of the two hemispheres of the human brain. A volcanic mass prevents the view of the horizon. As if just escaping from a fairy tale, in the centre of the picture appears a tiny Lilliputian figure trying to balance upright onto the back of a disproportionately larger bird with wide-open wings. Obviously, with eyelids lowered, the Lilliputian figure is dreaming between sleep and wakefulness. All seem as if time has stopped. He dreams of flying! The tendency of man to liberty is innate and of vital significance. The American “Great Agnostic” Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899) wrote, “What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man”. Throughout the history of man, the search for liberty seems to be an elusive dream. Who is the truly free person? Liberty is an ecstatic experiential knowledge through innumerable paths of life. The Lilliputian figure of childhood innocence and the bird of the primal purity of the soul is that dream. Without this dream, life becomes an event of empty meaning, a hollow vessel thrown into infinity. Every human is potentially a protagonist in the dream of liberty.

12.- Milly Flamburiari (London, b. 1945). Corona-Liberty, 2021. Digital print on PVC, 122 x 66 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Heritage Foundation, Corfu.

Contemplating a contemporary way of depicting the concept of liberty, Milly Flamburiari thought of updating the iconic Statue of Liberty (1875-1886) of Bartholdi, which presides in the namesake islet at the entrance of the port of New York. Since its inauguration it was made a symbol of maternal hospitality and hope for the banished, persecuted and immigrants everywhere, and an emblem of the United States of America, as a country that promotes liberty and human rights. The artist appropriated the contour of the sculpture – the Roman goddess Libertas on a pedestal, wearing a long tunic and crown with seven rays and holding on her raised hand the torch of Enlightenment and clutching on the other the tablet of the Declaration of Independence. In the interior of the internationally recognizable outline she chose to present an image of the opposite of its symbolism, namely non-liberty, as an ironic statement about its timelessly unfulfilled realisation, especially under the adverse contemporary conditions. Thus, she thought instinctively of the Coronavirus, the pandemic that caused a serious respiratory syndrome in humans when it was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and until 2021 tyrannised humanity with loss of life, social exclusion and financial disaster. Of course, in order to entertain the macabre theme of the pandemic, she used one of the extremely attractive digital images of the specific virus that stands out with psychedelic nuances against a bloody background.

13.- Dimosthenis Gallis (Athens, b. 1967). Liberation, 2021. Digital print on paper, 150 x 105 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

In his work entitled Liberation, Dimosthenis Gallis presents a metallic twisting staircase of an exterior space obliquely with a clear reference to the DNA helix, the structure of genetic material of chromosomes with unique characteristics that define any living organism. In the opposite upper part of the picture the feet of the man who acquired wings are just discernible, with reference to the Ptenopus (Winged-Foot) Hermes, the agile psychopompos. Although this composition could well comprise a metaphorical depiction of death, it refers rather to the liberation of consciousness, of the true essence of the person from the tyrannical mind. Through constant psychotherapeutic working with oneself, the person may tame the mind as the seat of the passions, of experiences, of obsessions and restrictive thoughts and feelings. Without it he is a prisoner of the weight of his existence. The practice of the psychoanalytic act reveals the invisible side of the analysed individual, which is all the most genuine within him. Psychologists and psychiatrists still use today the ancient Socratic irony and the maieutic method to make man confront the truth that would release him. Liberty is a universal good that is not given away but earned through painstaking and constant struggle. Every small conquest constitutes a step on the spiralling staircase of the person’s evolutionary course.

14.- Christos Garoufalis (Agrinio, b. 1959). Liberty Road, 2021. Oil on canvas, 72 x 58 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Agrinio.

Christos Garoufalis believes that knowledge, when it contributes to awareness, is the most authoritative passport for the transgression that leads to spiritual liberty. This message is both timely and timeless. So the painter himself is gazing at his own life with poetic disposition and ascetic simplicity. With divine inspiration and excellent technique, he stages the Liberty Road – three reverently selected books are available on the windowsill of a dark room with a window that overlooks the sunny valley and a bird fluttering in the heart of the sky. This life-giving light source, that is the sun, renders the whole world noticeable – the potential users of the road, the shadowy awareness, the transcendental window, the golden desert and the nebulised soul. The feathery friend in the middle of the composition encapsulates and summarises the ability of people to perceive, to claim and to gain liberty. The window is a common threshold for all people – a very valuable element of self-knowledge, but also a means for the passage of each one from the darkness to the light. This passage, however, is a complete odyssey. Clearly it concerns a wishful thinking that is easy to say, but hard to achieve. Besides, “liberty demands both virtue and audacity”. The melancholy that the whole of the work exudes captures the nostalgia of liberty and the bittersweetness for the unattainable dream.

15.- Nikos Giavropoulos (Thessaloniki, b. 1971). Liberty, 2021. Digital print on canvas within plexiglass, 70 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

The Liberty of Nikos Giavropoulos clearly refers to the painting Greece expressing Gratitude of 1858 that Theodoros Vryzakis created with a sense of national responsibility and patriotic pride. Appropriating the idea of the reference work, the artist was inspired by the filmic quality of the painting and conceptually transcribed it in a simple manner. He maintained the pyramidal composition of the multitude of heroes that culminates in the allegorical figure of Greece, but removed the whole of the rich composition, preserving only six elements in an equilateral triangular arrangement. At the base he set skulls, three in number to symbolise infinity and alike to indicate the common fate of death. In the middle, two men – one with hands tied behind him and the other liberated and in motion – indicate the transition from bondage to liberty. They are obviously naked according to the ancient Greek ideal of beauty. In the centre, above, rises the allegorical female figure of liberty, dressed in a white tunic and crowned with laurel. According to Vryzakis’ prototype, she raises her hands above the heroes as a sign of blessing. All these elements are distinguished by their brilliance against a totally black background, suggestive of the spaceless and timeless. Thus, the work recalls that the Greek Revolution became an inspiration for every country groaning under empires, occupations and protectorates, and became an example of victory in the struggle of self-determination as required by human rights. The narrative of the composition refers to the struggle for liberty as an idea with reference to the theosophical climaxing of fulfilment from the darkness of the lower world to the source of light at the apex.

16.- Stella Kapezanou (Athens, b. 1977). Liberty recollects the Greek Summer, 2021. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 180 x 154 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Liberty is a lure for the thinking man who respects himself and aspires to excel in life. Here, Liberty is nothing but the name of an everyday girl today who would just like to make friends. She is presented with a naked body that is detached from a a typical apartment setting with sofas and a television. The additional wings of an eagle on her back and the classic Corinthian capital where she is sitting are elements put forward on her by the spectators, out of a need to give her the opportunity to escape from reality as a personification of the concept of liberty. In any case, Liberty seems tired with the endless scenario of the Coronavirus, which tyrannised humanity during the production of the present project. Apparently she looks forward only to the arrival of Greek summer with drinks and a boyfriend on Mykonos. With a wry dose of irony, Stella Kapezanou uses her work to make an allusion to the lockdown of the pandemic, which caused depression to the whole wide world. In any case, the leaves of the orange tree in the background that cross the boundaries of the canvas intensify the sense of the necessary escape! It should be noted that the imposed programme of the Greek national vaccination at the time was called “Operation Liberty”.

17.- Vassilis Karakatsanis (Athens b. 1957). Distinct District No. 10, 2018. Acrylic, gouache and oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

In the series of works entitled Distinct District, Vassilis Karakatsanis captures the concept of liberty or redemption on the social level as mush as on the personal. He uses an experiential perspective, which also determines his style. Within an organic framework co-exist the senses of non-liberty at the lower part and of liberty at the upper part of the composition. The suffocating urban landscape as a concept of liberty deprivation owing to social, family, religious and aesthetic conventions, contradicts the buoyancy of insects that, through their joyful colourfulness, symbolically express the varying character and being of every person. In its essence, the composition deals conceptually with the reaction, escape and evasion of the individual from something that oppresses it. The artist finds the opportunity to reveal to the world his personal experience of his liberation from every kind of bond. In the upper perimeter of the work on the left a house in Ronda of southern Spain, on top the monastery of St George on the Castle of Skyros and on the right a house in Mykonos, concern the three places where the artist felt completely free and therefore happy.

18.- Harris Kondosphyris (Lesbos, b. 1965). Elefthoúrios Tsoliás, 2021. Installation: iron and sound, 50 x 80 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

“Now thy feet homewards toil / and they overswiftly roll / on the rock or on the soil / which thy glory do recall. / Overlowly it is bowing / triple-wretched thy sad head, / beggar. door to door who’s going / and their life a weight too dead. / Aye, but now they’re counterfiring / all thy seed with urge and mirth, / and they’re seeking firm, untiring / either victory or death.” (verses 13-15 of the Hymn to Liberty)

The Elefthoúrios Tsoliás of Harris Kondosphyris is a confined installation with low-key sound. The first word is an idiosyncratic composite derived from the war exclamation “eleleú” in Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus and the “thoúrios” which means a patriotic hymn. The second word “Tsolias” comes from the Turkish language and means rags because that is the way the Ottomans mockingly called the klephts (brigands) and armatoloi (guerrillas), wearing the fustanella, a kilt with 400 stitched pleats. The Elefthourios Tsolias is a savage beast that runs flabbergasted for his liberty on a stratified rendering of the Greek flag. The Greek hero jumps ecstatically upon layers of the national flag forming the bastion of liberty with trenches the lengths of its white strips. His huge stride, from one foot to the other, wearing the characterisitc tsarouchi (from the Turkish çarık), a shoe with a hard-soled and a large tassel, is evocative of the glory. The defensive flight and aggressive defence occur on a landscape formed from the sacred ennead (group of 9 syllables) of stripes of the Greek flag, of which each represents a sequential letter of the phrase “elefthería í thánatos” (liberty or death) in Greek. It concerns an installation of a thourios. The ravaged hero is thrown in the momentum of victorious liberty and fearlessly drags a dance of death decisively forward with shouts and cheers. Liberty is a brash, outspoken, heated and perpetual Pyrrhic dance around death. The free one is a beast who by defying death beats slavery. The rebellious one dances in the unsecured area of the others’ sovereignty in the secured area of death. At the same time, an audio of excerpts is heard in the form of the wind from the memoirs of the Macedonian fighter Nikolaos Kasomoulis (1795-1872) about the exodus of Missolonghi.

19.- Aggelika Korovessi (Pyrgos, b. 1952). Sound-Saws of Liberty, 2021. Wood and steel, 3: 14 x 48-60 x 3 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Dionysios Solomos wrote in the Dialogue (1824): “Have I anything else in my mind but liberty and the language?” The language gives words as navigation tools for man who, out of respect for himself and his surroundings, is seeking liberty. Encouraged by the Solomic idea, a prime defender of liberty, Aggelika Korovessi created the Sound-Saws of Liberty that are offered to cut the shackles of mental slavery. She turned into tools the words of the five concepts that language highlights as ammunition for the struggle of liberty – Aspiration, Self-Esteem, Courage, Subversion and Virtue. These concepts, which the language has turned into words, become tools of thought. She recorded their sound-graph and rendered it into a double-edged saw with each edge representing the vibration of each concept, in order to break the invisible shackles of the soul. The Sound-Saws symbolise the power that the tongue gives to man for his spiritual and mental liberty. The opportunity to acquire liberty is at the disposal of every responsible person. But the road to liberty requires “the terrible cutting edge of thy keen sword”. Having available the sharp concepts of the Sound-Saws, their operators can switch from introspection to absolute liberation.

20.- Vassiliki Koskiniotou (Athens, b. 1968). Land of Liberty, 2021. Oil and oil pastel on canvas, 120 x 120 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Vassiliki Koskiniotou poetically represents the fertile soil of the fecund land under the precious light of liberty, as evidenced by the title of her work. She drew inspiration from the poem Hymn to Liberty of Dionysios Solomos, “Ah, the bright light that bedecks thee / like the crown around sun’s girth / grandly sheens afar perplexing, / no, it isn’t from this earth / All of thee a blazing splendour / everything lip, forehead, eye / sheens thy leg, thy forearm and more / all around thee is in light” (verses 94 and 95). The work is an attempt to visualise the hot breeze of liberty that may offer sweet fruits after bitterest labours, as well as a reference to the flame that every act of creation contains, every creative joy that springs from the painstaking preoccupation with the work. The bright metalic colours of silver and gold that she uses here refer to the verses, which in their turn refer to the very precious light of the won liberty. In the middle of the painting, the painter engraved her favourite verses from verse 95 with reference to the transformation of the body into light. The creation-matrix clearly revels with arrows in constant flux. This whole picture is a promise of regeneration and an expectation of prosperity, an ecstatic light step towards liberty.

21.- Nikos Kryonidis (Xanthi, b. 1963). Liberty Or…, 1972/2021. Digital print on aluminium and found packaged toys, 75 x 100 cm. Courtesy of Lola Nikolaou Art Gallery, Thessaloniki.

The groundbreaking artist Nikos Kryonidis submits as a contemporary work a memoir from his personal life – a typical snapshot from a school event to commemorate the 25th of March 1972 at the local cinema/theatre, when he was nine. The photograph is black and white and presents a series of ten students in a line each of which holds one consecutive capital letter of the word “liberty”. The artist himself holds the letter “R”. Besides the moment’s spontaneity, the picture is charged with many elements – male students of different classes based on criteria of their conventional appearance have been selected; they are dressed in uniform and conservative manner; and placed along a line by height. Remembering the past, the viewer brings nostalgically to mind the period towards the end of military dictatorship in Greece (1967-1974), where the students throughout the schools in the country were indoctrinated with high ideals and the patriotic slogan, “homeland – religion – family”. Today, in the age of globalisation, all these seem foreign – patriotic manifestations are disappearing and the students have by definition rights regardless of their social, economic, political and personal situation. The artist does not take a critical position in the evolution of things. As a passive observer of radical changes, he notes that the only thing that remains unchanged is the second part of the historical motto, avoided in the title, which every mind identifies with the concept of the dictatorship. From the photograph are hanging transparent pockets with seasonal games of the time against colourful cards. They are seven in number – as many as the letters of the word “death” in Greek.

22.- Kostas Lavdas (Athens, b. 1980). She Arrived Heaven-Sent, 2016. Acrylic and egg tempera on canvas, 190 x 190 cm. Courtesy of Alma Gallery, Athens.

Kostas Lavdas wants his works to operate as an opportunity for personal and collective self-awareness, which is an arduous but liberating process. With his work She Arrived Heaven-Sent he mocks the eschatological manner in which some portion of the left expects the advent of the Revolution. Tzimis Panousis (1954-2018) had noted with his known caustic humour how the Red Revolution, which people expected to arrive from the heavens, would burst onto the Earth as a meteorite. Here Lavdas presents the divine matrix instead of the hand of God, at the corner of the sky, giving birth to the hope and sending it to the people. Connected to the umbilical cord, she hovers beyond the house of convenience of organised society, on the clouds. She appears as a sex bomb in red over an army of men whose head just about emerges from a can. Unlike the inorganic bodies of men, the woman has a shapely body bearing rich and fancy dress. With an ultimate goal to make the world a better place, she intends to give hands and feet to the puppets who aspire to become humans. As the embodiment of Liberty, such a high and important good, the woman has an angry face with a serious gaze and a severe mouth. Liberty will be owned by any dummy that will surpass himself and dares to acquire her after tremendous struggles and terrifying sacrifices. The work of Lavdas satisfies the feeling of uneasiness, leaving the issue of liberty open.

23.- Agalis Manessi (Corfu, b. 1952). Manto gazing at Liberty, 2021. Glazed terracotta, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, London.

The national anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821 led Agalis Manessi to be inspired by the philhellenic plates with portraits of heroes who fought for liberty. She chose to illustrate Manto Mavrogenous (1796-1848), an emancipated woman who with her actions and ways gave everything for the struggle of the delivery of Greece from the Ottoman Empire. For her overall contribution she was honoured by the Greek state with the degree of the lieutenant general. She was one of the most important fighters of the Revolution of 1821 and was of a wealthy family. For her work, the ceramist relied on the portrait of Manto of 1826 by the Danish philhellene officer Adam Fridel (1786-1865). The transfer was done with the direct and spontaneous style of the artist. The face of the heroine became the epicentre of an installation, where the gaze of the sitter turns beyond the boundary of the plate towards the broader concept of liberty. At the same time, numerous blue eyes, painted on shards of clay, surround in complete circular order the face of the heroine. On the occasion of the sublime heroine Manto, the ceramist highlights in her work the greatness any individual may achieve regardless of gender. The fact is that by their example, all the heroines of 1821 contributed greatly to the emancipation of women.

24.- Panayiotis Masonidis (Nicosia, 1943- 1994). Study for the Statue of Liberty, 1975. Acrylic plaster, 66 x 24 x 20 cm. Courtesy of the Masonidis Bequest, Corfu.

Panayiotis Masonidis was born in Cyprus and was active in Greece. As a student of Athanase Apartis, he studied the figurative genre and the monumental depiction of figures, but he followed a personal course towards a symbolic expressionism with abstract tendencies. During the Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974, Masonidis lived in Athens. On the occasion of the weakening of Cyprus by the Junta of Athens, Turkey found an opportunity not only to invade but also to colonise. This was a form of repression of the liberty of both the Greeks and the Cypriots. The loss of northern Cyprus and the fallen compatriot fighters caused bitterness in his heart, and a trauma in his soul. Feeling a deep need to express himself through art he created a sculpture for the liberty of Cyprus and by extension of every oppressed people and individual. His work was based on numerous studies that are clearly inscribed with the indication “Liberty”. It is a small study for a large monument, which the art-loving mayor of Corfu Spyros Rath (1902-1983) envisioned at the political changeover in the centre of the Town Hall Square. It presents a female figure dressed in a tunic that completely covers her body so that she looks compact. The imagination of the viewer identifies her hidden hands with her wings, which look like endings of her wavy robe. Her face with the deliberately melted features endows the figure with a dimension beyond space and time. Despite its unfinished quality, the sculpture masterfully expresses the sense of liberty with breath and spirit. The reference to the winged goddess Nike of Samothrace, which famously inspired also Umberto Boccioni’s Unique Forms of Continuity in Space of 1913, is obvious.

25.- George Megoulas (Evia, b. 1955). Construction – Deconstruction, 2014. Porcelain and enamel, 86 x 54 x 44 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Corfu.

George Megoulas comes from an aristocratic Corfiot family with respect for roots, the past and tradition. He recognises that now, as in every period, people are called to overthrow the status quo. Today, globalisation is being pitted against capitalism. Inspired by the Venetian influence that persists in Corfu, he created furniture on feet in the Baroque style, with curved edges, inflated sides and spiralling finials. Initially it looked like an ideal monument for an ark of values. Subsequently, driven by the current spirit of liberation from social conventions and the established order, he broke the mould in four quadrants with a cross and shifted the parts so that they balance on the base. In a similar fashion he shredded a classical head in five horizontal sections and shifted them so that they form an open arch as a crown of the composition. Having learned from Western academicism, the current time of change inspires him to surpass rules venturing a transgression towards liberalisation. So his work advances from the construction of the past, via the deconstruction of the present, towards the reconstruction of the future. Surprisingly, the final composition, clearly advanced, masterfully augments in new terms the prior delight in form, light and technique.

26.- Dimitris Miliotis (Corfu, b. 1961). Liberty, 2021. Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Corfu.

The work of Dimitris Miliotis is concerned with metamorphosis, as an endless succession of transient states of the object. Here, where the object is the concept of freedom, he imagines her as an anthropomorphic dragonfly trying to move forward and upward, with the help of her hands, feet but also with her clear and strong wings that give impetus to her every movement. His intention was to record not a specific moment of this effort, but the passage of all the moments in time during the movement. The work presents collectively a selection of all these relevant temporal moments. They are records and traces of movements of liberty on a sunny surface. This figure does not reflect the movement towards liberty. It is liberty herself, her embodiment. And as liberty she moves everywhere and always and in all directions, leaving in her wake only her blue trail. The composition pulsates with a freedom of movement with an erotic pulse. It is reminiscent of a saying of Voltaire: “Liberty of thought is the life of the soul”.

27.- Ioannis Monogyios (Kavala, b. 1965). Secret Garden, 2021. Linographs hung on canvas, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Thessaloniki.

The Secret Garden by Ioannis Monogyios is a conceptual work that is activated through the alchemical relation of text and image. The greater part of the composition has a light green colour, which expresses an illusory state. The scarce fiery hue, which coincides with the awareness, tears the illusory surface and touches the spiritual dimension of the essence of the work. The four corners of the composition present the absinthium, a plant with the bitter taste of life, that has the capacity to sedate. In the intermediate space of the corners scattered verses from the Liberté (1942) poem of Paul Éluard in the original French and Greek translation are presented. The text of the poem was printed with stamps letter by letter, in an admittedly compulsive, but in conclusion liberating process. On the base of the composition, bones symbolise death, which is the common fate of every life. A head at the centre of the composition symbolises the human intellect and also carries the third eye of intuition that gives spiritual guidance and a mantra in Tibetan that psychologically leads to liberation. The head hovers with the wings of a butterfly that symbolises transformation. Directly below two hands support the caduceus of Hermes with the fiery axis of the world as a passage through which one can get to the truth beyond life – that is liberty. This point is located in the cerebral space of the head as the secret garden with the warm hues of the pyre. For the artist, the purpose of existence is the transcendence of reality within which people live with the goal of inner liberty that is cultivated in the secret garden of the mind.

28.- Konstantinos Patsios (Athens, b. 1977). On the glass of surprises I write your name, 2021. Collage on canvas, 200 x 150 cm. Courtesy of Alma Gallery, Athens.

According to the model of the surrealists, in search of unusual ways of inspiration, Konstantinos Patsios created an oversized collage using free association and automatic creation. His pursuit was the liberation of the unconscious, the source of psychic energy and the cradle of stimuli from logical, social and aesthetic rules. This present work is inspired by the poem Liberté of Paul Éluard and its title incorporates the refrain “I write your name”. The composition has a Dionysian dimension of chromatic ecstasy. The ecstasy is rendered through the composition of heterogeneous objects and the counterpoint of the void with the full. A fresh fingerprint in the open space maintains the balance of the composition’s upper completeness. Elements, such as the ancient beauty of classical sculpture and the self-portrait of Theophilos with the Greek flag, demonstrate the intention of the artist to compose various excerpts of the collective past. Balloons and exotic birds defying gravity interact with skulls that have now been rid of the burden of existence, under the relentless gaze of the Roman goddess Libertas. The composition is a palimpsest of snapshots that comprise attempts of the creator to portray liberty. Extensive are the references to classical art and the vanitas (a genre in art referring to mortality), which imply all moments of human history, when the certainty of death and the futility of earthly pleasures is confronted by the indestructible struggle for liberty, that is immortality.

29.- Margarita Petrova (Athens, b. 1979). Zalongo, 2021. Mixed media: silver prints, oil on paper and papyrus, 116 x 93 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

The primary concern of Margarita Petrova was how can one landscape that is charged with historical memory and is a symbol of liberty be displayed. The special case of Zalongo is one of the most shocking incidents in the modern history of Greece. On 18 December 1803, after the occupation of Souli by the troops of Ali Paşa, 63 women who had taken refuge at the western end of Mount Zalongo decided to die free rather than fall into the hands of Muslim Albanians. They preferred instead of dishonour and captivity to throw their children into the cliff and then to follow themselves, even dancing their way, causing great excitement and admiration throughout Europe. So, Zalongo is a deeply emotional place through its history. Its rocks became a memorial for the liberty of Souli. The Souliotes expressed through their swan song in a unique way the concept of liberty. Thus, the artist created through her work a composition that contains the closed shapes of the black and white photographs in order to come into contrast with the pictorial elements that create tension. The shapes are liberated from the borders of the landscape, making free new places, which nevertheless at the same time contain the tragedy of loss and sacrifice. The horizontal stripes of photographed land create the sense of reality and the actual historic site. Amongst them the painted spots take their place in this landscape and are gradually released from below towards the top to indicate that unlike the fall, liberty has an upward trend, the dematerialisation that reaches beyond the painted sky in order to unite with the sanctity of the universe.

30.- Lena Platonos (Greece, b. 1951). Do Not Disturb My Circles, 1991. Courtesy of Akti Company, Athens.

Faced with a Roman soldier that eventually took his life, the legendary last words of Archimedes, the greatest mathematician and inventor of antiquity, was “Do not disturb my circles!” Despite probably being a construct, it is included in the Quotations Register as a phrase attributed to him. It reveals the culmination of the absorption of a genius despite his imminent death. In the album entitled by this phrase in Greek, “Mi Mou tous Kyklous Tarate”, of 1991 by Lena Platonos, the voice of the composer is heard inquiring who is the truly free man. And she answers enigmatically at the end, “it is he who crashed the mirrormakers”. Let it be noted that the mirrormakers is the labyrinth of mirrors dealing with the visible idols that tend to disorientate the uninitiated and inexperienced man. By crashing the mirrormakers, the elder hermit may see the true light in the darkness, which is the essence of liberty. For Platonos, liberty is identified with love, as a concept of the union of psyche and eros. This union opposes any disruption, especially of enmity, hatred and malice. The image on the album’s jacket shows the planet Earth in motion in space. The figure of the composer folds her arms nude on its movement. She is interested in the nudity of the truth, not the flesh. Symbols come into orbit around her as subjects she wishes for or against. A heart with a barcode prevails that refers to the clearance sale of emotions, the transformation of man into a product. The album is for love and against capitalism and speaks of humility as opposed to arrogance. At the end of the title song, the composer cites the Socratic paradox, “I know that I know nothing”.

31.- Marina Provatidou (Thessaloniki, b. 1978). Liberty gave wings to Icarus, 2021. Woodcut, linolaeum and intaglio on paper, 66 x 53 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Thessaloniki.

The figure of Liberty today is a Nike without wings. She is a simple woman, but has so much power within her that whenever she wishes she wears her wings and takes off. She is fighting for the survival of the people around her, for the tolerance of diversity, for equality of the rights for all. Marina Provatidou, as if photographing herself, represents the concept of freedom on the acropolis of Thessaloniki – the Heptapyrgion – fortress of the Paleologoi. The Ottomans turned this space into Yedi Kule, one of the toughest prisons where innocent civilians were held, amongst guilty ones, in all the periods of slavery that this land experienced – Ottoman rule, German Occupation and Civil War. There were tortured activists and outcasts, exiles and objectors, intellectuals and illiterates, all people with a mutual desire for freedom. In this space charged with mental anguish, the woman-symbol of liberty appears to be wearing a long blue dress and raises her hands in order to balance on a thin bridge of measure and limits, as she wavers “between divine and human justice” according to the writer Alexandros Papadiamantis. She tries to lead her life by observing the midline of things, the one that bridges differences and witnesses the way to calm the passions of yesterday, today and tomorrow. She walks steadily forward upon the ruler of pure truth and defends the human nature of the prisoners of the place of martyrdom. With the confidence of shut eyes, she is “counting fast the lands restored”, ignoring the threat of death and the fear of emptiness. She walks on the edge against the blue and white sky, delivered from the weights, measures and standards that imprison the contemporary world. She feels proud of what she has achieved as an independent woman, trying to balance situations within the roles she plays in life. She believes that freedom is the highest good for which it is worth fighting at all costs. For this reason, while walking she remembers the myth of Icarus, who lost his life realising albeit momentarily his dream.

32.- Rania Rangou (Athens, b. 1970). Exodus, 2021. Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

The Exodus of Rania Rangou concerns a visual transcription. The painter was inspired by the monumental painting The Execution of Torrijos and his Companions on the Beach at Málaga of 1888 by Antonio Gisbert (1834-1901). With the slogan “Fatherland – Liberty – Independence” and aiming at the end of absolutism, the Spanish liberal revolutionary leader José-María Torrijos (1791-1831) and 60 followers were arrested and executed in Málaga by loyalist authorities without trial, by order of King Fernando VII of Spain. With his martyrdom, Torrijos became the archetype of the struggle against despotism and tyranny. The painter appropriated the figure of Torrijos, with the epic kindness and calm that characterises him as a romantic hero. She pulled it from the traumatic moment of firing squads of the past and placed it therapeutically in the centre of an endless seascape with mere reference to the point that it curves towards a brighter direction. Unlike the heroic past, today’s anonymous protagonist realises the historicity of himself as a passive experience or a Netflix show. As a new “Torrijos” he may be redeemed from his bonds, maintaining his delicate smile. Instead of weapons, he is accompanied on one side by the hand of his comrade and on the other side by the living flame of the struggle for liberty. Today, when death is meaningless, the challenge is the liberation from material passivity towards a spiritual ascension.

33.- Dimitris Sevastakis (Samos, b. 1960). Second Memory, 2013-2021. Mixed media: graphite on paper and acrylic on canvas, 80 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

For Dimitris Sevastakis, “Second Memory” is the free intake, the quirky understanding of the narrated fact, surrendered and secondarily experienced. It is what establishes the personal memory. It is, therefore, the free and unbiased movement between historical fact and its personalisation. The work consists of an old profile self-portrait in conversation with four new designs of emblematic persons of the Greek liberation struggle. These designs originate in the lithographs of Bavarian officer Karl Krazeisen (1794-1878) of portraits of the most famous heroes of 1821, whom he knew personally and painted from life. Sevastakis drew Kolokotronis, Miaoulis and Karaiskakis, but also included the philhellene engraver himself based on a photograph of his. The painter moved between two factual fields – his own portrait and his mnemonic references. He also experimented with two ways of narrative – self-portraiture with elements of expressionism and a condensed design by graphite with reference to the engravings of the 19th century. The concept of liberty for the painter lies in his expressive fluency between methods and techniques. He developed the composition on a black background as indefinite and permissible, without documentary distractions. Through the reference to the national liberation movement, the various languages and idioms, he compiled a personal project of liberty, that is, an essential autobiography.

34.- Vasilis Solidakis (Crete, b. 1948). Taming the Chimera, 2021. Oil and charcoal on canvas, 100 x 100 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Liberty is known as a theoretical concept, but is an extremely difficult challenge as an experiential act. The work Taming the Chimera of Vassilis Solidakis refers to a universal legend. In ancient Greek mythology the Chimera describes a composite creature with three heads, one for each temptation – goat for lust, snake for intoxication and lion for arrogance. The new generation, after the rebellious decade of the ’60s, was celebrating this exact problem with the widespread slogan “sex and drugs and rock ’n’ roll”. Obviously it is a huge challenge to overcome one’s temptations. If he manages to tame them, however, he will be able to gain the substantial liberty that will provide the necessary condition for the acquisition of knowledge and self-awareness. With that in mind, the artist presents an enlightened man to have tamed the untameable Chimera – a truly paradoxical spectacle and theme. The art, however, has every right to imagination. The background carries the whole spectrum of the colours of Iris – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. It is no wonder that the rainbow became known as a symbol of liberty and diversity by the gay artist Gilbert Baker in 1978.

35.- Tita Stavrou (Athens, b. 1958). Deceitful Liberty, 2021. Mixed media: acrylic, clay, wood, objects and electric lamp, 45 x 42 x 15 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Athens.

Tita Stavrou is concerned for the weak people who are seeking liberty. Starting from bewilderment on the subject, she identified with the current generation and its perceptions, aiming unconscionably for an internal transcendence. By reading again the whole Hymn to Liberty of Dionysios Solomos she realised that it describes not a national fact but an internal human condition, verging on psychoanalysis. On plain blotting paper she wrote anew by pen eight out of the 158 stanzas with genuine emotional charge rather than intellectual clarity, and set them as a pillar on either side of the window on a re-appropriated iconostasis. On the lower level of the composition, the subconscious, she stored five bags representing knowledge loaded with energies of good and evil. From every bag begins a red thread and all of them meet at a ring of the unconscious on the upper level of the composition, the conscious. On that ring is recorded human heredity with chromosomes and genes, and that determines the flight of the human figure with the wing trying to incorporate itself into the emotional landscape of the background. Opposite from the unconscious rises the spinning top of fortune with a crack, something that acts uncontrollably. The iconostasis of being stages its innate tendency towards liberty. The bell on the door will betray whomever attempts to penetrate liberty. The title “Deceitful Liberty” originates in the 21st stanza of the Hymn, which refers to the futility of what one would say to someone who betrays him while worshiping him. Living in the post-revolutionary climate in Greece, Solomos would certainly contemplate the triumph of liberty if the ravage of civil strife was eliminated.

36.- Petros Stravoravdis (Corfu, b. 1949). An Angel for Liberty, 2021. Acrylic on canvas, 110 x 90 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Corfu.

In the course of time, the Corfiots encountered a number of settlers and conquerors –Eretrians, Corinthians, Romans, Byzantines, Genoese, Venetians, French, Russians and English – until the long-awaited union with Greece in 1864. During the longest period of the Venetian rule (1204-1797) the Catholics forced the Orthodox to have on their island a protopapas instead of a bishop. In fact, often the poor people of Corfu were oppressed by the regimes and the conditions, as the pen of Konstantinos Theotokis (1872-1923) reveals. For this reason Petros Stravoravdis expresses a reservation about the issue of liberty in his hometown. In his work he presents, in an abstract manner, a rather pulsating view of the old city, confusing basic non-iconic forms and high-rise apartment buildings. The belfry of the Metropolis and the New Fortress with the Greek flag are characteristically discerned. Above the rooftops rises the Angel of Giuseppe Torretti (1664-1743), which since the end of the Ottoman siege in 1716 announces an expectation of wider liberation. However, the vert amande, which vacillates between the green and blue colours, obliquely penetrates the composition. He underlines an ironic comment that absolute liberty exists never and nowhere. Furthermore, the red colour on the belfry flows downwards as an open wound on religious ideals. However, despite such reasonable doubts, the truth is that Corfu contributed to the liberation of Greece in its Ionian way – the Neohellenic Enlightenment and the national Hymn to Liberty.

37.- Praxitelis Tzanoulinos (Tinos, b. 1955). Liberty/Nike, 1983. Bronze, 110 x 38 x 46 cm. Courtesy of the Vasilis Mouchtaris Collection, Athens.

In 1983 Praxitelis Tzanoulinos qualified for the National Artistic Sculpture Contest on the theme “Liberty/Peace” for his work that since then adorns the junction of Poseidonos and Thiseos Avenues in Kallithea. He was awarded again for the same work by Menelaos Pallantios on behald of the Academy of Athens in 1987. It concerns an expansive monumental composition that celebrates the concept of liberty and peace intellectually and abstractly. The present sculpture Liberty/Nike is a key part of the whole and is a working model for the said monument. With classical origins, it presents the female allegorical figure of Liberty/Nike putting her chest forward as if it were for a running competition. Combined, the wavy tunic at the feet and the wing that targets the stars, form a relentless stretched bow, armed with invisible cosmic energy. She is moving dynamically forward, ripping the wind as a sword with momentum and a turning in space, like the Winged Victory of Samothrace. Inspired by the Solomic verse “From the sacred bones, of the Hellenes arisen”, she is made from a basic frame of clay with enough flesh as to protect something greater than her body, her heart, which is the core of every hero. She has lost in the battle the one of her two wings, but she raises her head proudly for what is most important – her vital and beating soul.

39.- Katia Varvaki (Athens, b. 1957). The Garment of Liberty, 2021. Oil and acrylic on canvas, 110 x 110 cm. Courtesy of Astrolavos Gallery, Athens.

With The Garment of Liberty Katia Varvaki subconsciously travelled in the historical past of modern Greece and created a work that bridges the various eras and reconciles their oppositions. The composition began with the laurel-crowned head of the protagonist in the work Greece expressing Gratitude of 1858 by Theodoros Vryzakis. This sweet female face, that is herewith baptised Liberty, was calling for a change of style. That is why her body was influenced by a photograph of Aris Velouchiotis (1905-1945), communist leader of the Greek People’s Liberation Army, riding a horse at Epirus around 1943. Thus, she appears delivered from femininity, reinforced with masculinity as a guerilla with a shirt, greatcoat and cross-strung bandolier for bullets, with reference to the mother of the artist, who belonged to the United Panhellenic Organisation of Youth of Thessaly. She is represented with a contemporary rifle and bayonet, just like Marianne in the painting Liberty leading the People (1830) by Delacroix. This point refers to the wild and hard struggle for liberty. In the lower part, however, the fluffy dress restores her lost femininity. Here the fabric in flesh tones suggests the purity of virtue. Associatively, the picture is placed in a field that includes a dissolved white lily, a symbol of violated virginity. Above it flutters the black crow of death that is consistent with liberty. The sky is rendered expressionistically with alternating shades of blue and orange. The picture is full of counterpoints with reference to the transcendental twin poles in the lyrics of Kalvos “liberty demands both virtue and courage”, which is faintly inscribed on the clouds.

38.- Chryssa Vathianaki (Heraklion, b. 1964). Flag, 2021. Embroidery technique on found flag, 67 x 92 ἐκ. Courtesy of the Artist, Heraklion.

Chryssa Vathianaki was inspired by The Crucifixion, a masterpiece of about 1480 by the Cretan icon painter Andreas Pavias (1440-1512). She focused on a detail that is located at the top of the composition, exactly above the cross of martyrdom. There, a nest is depicted on which a stork pierces its chest to spill its blood and nourish with it its three offsprings. The representation states allegorically the sacrifice of Christ in order to save man from the original sin. The artist transcribed the particular pattern with embroidery as a theme in her own work, which appropriates an old family heirloom, the Greek flag. She also completed the scene with the nest as the culmination of the tree of life and two snakes to wind up either side of the trunk threatening to devour the chicks. Adapting the scene to the heart of the cross of the Greek flag, the stork, a bird of exemplary family life, refers to the self-sacrifice of the heroes of the Revolution of 1821, who gave up their lives fighting their powerful enemies. At the same time, the new Flag reminds the future generations of the ancient Greek “Pelasgic law”, the repayment for nourishment received from the loving children to the parents.

40.- Andreas Zymvragos (Chania, b. 1962). Of the Living and the Dead, 2017. Charcoal and pastel on paper pasted on PVC, 96 x 68 cm. Courtesy of the Artist, Chania.

The work Of the Living and the Dead by Andreas Zymvragos, aside from being a tribute to the heroes who were sacrificed for liberty, could be seen as an attempt to visually depict the verses from The Axion Esti (1959) of Odysseus Elytis: “A solitary swallow and a costly spring, / For the sun to turn it takes a job of work, / It takes a thousand dead sweating at the wheels, / It takes the living also giving up their blood”. High, as a culmination, a branch of spring for the living and the free like the swallows in the open sky. At the base a candle stand is dedicated to the dead heroes. At the centre, the symbol of their struggles, the Greek flag worn out today, disrespected and discredited in the minds of their descendants, she too a victim of the confusion that characterises the present, as a result of deliberate distortion of the true content of the concepts of the homeland, nation, democracy or liberty. National independence is the cornerstone for the exercise of any other form of free expression – individual, collective, internal or spiritual. And it is all the nations that are threatened today by the destructor of financial globalisation imposed by the international market that with the pseudo-ideological order of multiculturalism threatens peoples with homogenisation and disappearance of every collective memory, and thus identity and existence. Globalisation is the new fascism that threatens nations today with extinction and to beat it they should reflect upon the self, the history and the collective memory. Thus they might be able to face again, freely, the heaven of their own homelands.

Poster curated by Dimosthenis Gallis for “Ex-Staseis” (vertical)
Poster curated by Dimosthenis Gallis for “Ex-Staseis” (horizontal)

The Flamburiari Family

Entry for the Flamburiari Family

Flamburiari, family from Constantinople sheltered after the fall of 1453 in Venice, and thence in Crete whence, following the island’s fall in 1669, resorted in Zante. But even previously, 1512, a Flamburiari family is encountered at Gaitani village of Zante. Chief of the family from Crete appears to be Konstaninos, son of Andreas, who took shelter in Zante whose son Ioannis, owing to military service to Venice, was honoured on 1 November 1768, he and his male progenies, by the title of the Count and on 15 September 1784 received as a fief the monastery of the Virgin Anafonitria. The children of Ioannis were Markos, Stylianos and Antonios. Markos’ son was Emmanuel, and those of Stylianos were Nikolaos, Dionysios and Markos and those of Antonios were Ioannis the priest, Markos, Dimitrios and Dionysios. Nikolaos, son Stylianos, fathered Anastasios lawyer of the University of Pavia, who received political positions during the Septinsular Republic, and was co-minister of Kapodistrias, became legislator and prosecutor. Having opposed Maitland he was imprisoned, deposed of his ministries and exiled in Venice. He was an ardent Filikos (member of the secret organization Filiki Eteria), member of the Ephorate he contributed money and acted wholeheartedly for the struggle. His son Pericles, 1809-1853, distinguished himself in law, prudence and public ministries. Antonios, son of Mark, studied in Pisa, was proclaimed doctor of law and was distinguished for eloquence. He was appointed prosecutor, court president of Lefkada and appeals court judge and after the Union, withdrew as a private citizen. He wrote political pamphlets, was made a knight of the Saviour, donated his books to the public library of Zante and he died in January 1890. Markos, son of Antonios, was intelligent from his youth, for whom Aristotelis Valaoritis wrote upon his death “The Years” memorial poem. Nikolaos was a famous lawyer blinded at a young age, studied the cases and acted as lawyer memorising all the documents of the trial. Dionysios, son of Stylianos, collaborated as a Filikos in the propagation of the initiation and advancement of the struggle. He was appointed prosecutor, but, having signed a letter to King George IV requesting a reform of the Maitland Constitution, was deposed and exiled to Venice. Upon his return he was appointed prosecutor of Corfu, elected legislator and president of the Ionian Parliament. As member of the Commission of the Ionian Codes, he drafted the bill, published political pamphlets on the reform of the Ionian Constitution, was honoured with the Great Cross of St Michael and St George and died in 1874. Nikolaos of Dionysios served as consul of Greece in Messina of Italy. Ioannis cont. 27 November 1838 – 30 October 1894. Markos cont. 5 October 1753 – 22 July 1784. Stylianos cont. 25 July 1761 – 14 May 1810 cont. gr. inactive. Markos Dr. in law and reserve officer. Maria of Dionysios was born in Corfu, lawyer, wrote sociological dissertations. I find the following genealogical tree about the House of Flamburiari: Andreas Petrutsos gave birth to Zecharias. Zacharias to Ioannis. Ioannis to Zacharias. Andreas Flamburiari and Fiorentsa gave birth to Nikolaos, Nikolaos to Konstantinos, Konstantinos to Ioannis +1770 and Stylianos. Ioannis to Markos, Antonios and Stylianos. Giovanni. Par. Garelis. See: Ch. III’833. M. 425. Giovanni De Pellegrini “Studio Araldico Genealogico… in Venezia, 1882-1916”. G. Pajago “Intorno alla vita del Dr Pericles Conte Flamburiari”, Corfu, 1854. Eugène Rizo Rangabé, Livre d’Oro de la noblesse Ionienne. Corfou, Athènes, Eleftheroudakis, 1925. Dikaios Β. Vagiakakos, “Maniotes in Zante”, Annals of the Archive of the History of Greek Law, Athens, Academy of Athens, 1954, p. 85.

[Leonidas Ch. Zois, Historical and Folkloric Lexicon of Zante, Volume A’, Athens, National Press, 1963, pp. 682 to 683, the entry for the Flamburiari Family]

The Flamburiari Family

By Megakles Rogakos, MA MA PhD

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 it moved to Crete during the Venetian occupation. When Crete was occupied by the Ottomans, in 1669, it fled to Zante 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 Zante 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 (1790-1874) was appointed prosecutor of Zante 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 th 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 Valaoritis, Theotoki, Kapodistria, Marmora, della Porta and Ralli.

Spyridon Pelekasis (1843-1916). Portrait of Count Anastasios Flamburiaris (1774-1828), c. 1870. Oil on canvas, 97 x 71 cm. Courtesy of the Museum of Solomos & Eminent Zakynthians, Zante – Donated by Sofia Angelakopoulou-Flamburiari.

Count Anastasios Nikolaou Flamburiaris (1774-1828) was a lawyer educated at the University of Padua. A friend of Ioannis Kapodistrias, he held various political positions in the Septinsular Republic (1800-1807) – minister, prosecutor and member of the Legislative Assembly. He drafted the report to George IV, king of England, against Sir Thomas Maitland, high commissioner of the Ionian Islands on 23 February 1821. As a result he was deposed from his posts and in 1822 exiled to Venice. As a staunch member of the Filiki Eteria, he offered money and great services in the liberation struggle. Spyridon Pelekasis ( Zante, 1843-1916) portrayed Anastasios half-length seated, turning from right to the left of the picture, in a ¾ stance. His gaze is turned towards the viewer. He rests both hands on the arms of the chair, where he is sitting. He wears formal clothes of the time – black coat over a white shirt with a high collar, ending in a laced cravat. The work was donated to the Museum of Solomos & Eminent Zante by Sofia Angelakopoulos-Flamburiari in 1983 and was restored by Maria Roussea.

Spyridon Pelekasis (1843-1916). Portrait of Count Dionysios Flamburiaris (1790-1874), c. 1870. Oil on canvas, 76 x 60 cm. Courtesy of the Museum of Solomos & Eminent Zakynthians, Zante – Donated by Sofia Angelakopoulou-Flamburiari.

Count Dionysios Stylianou Flambouriaris (1790-1874) continued the professional training of his cousin, Anastasios, as a lawyer with a degree from the University of Padua. As a Filikos, he contributed to the dissemination of the society’s message and the promoting of the Greek struggle for Independence. He was appointed prosecutor of Zante during the English Protectorate. However, because he signed the petition to the king of England, George IV, for the reform of the oppressive constitution of Sir Thomas Maitland, he was deposed and exiled to Venice. Upon his return he was appointed prosecutor of Corfu and was elected lawmaker and chairman of the Ionian Parliament. Subsequently, he worked for the state reform of the Ionian Constitution and proceeded to publish related brochures with a political and national content. As a member of the Commission of the Ionian Codes, he drafted the bill. In 1857, he was awarded the Grand Cross of St Michael and St George. Spyridon Pelekasis ( Zante, 1843-1916), portrayed Dionysios half-length upright, turned from right to the left of the picture, in a ¾ stance. His gaze is facing the viewer. He supports his left hand on a table and puts his right hand inside his vest as a characteristic gesture. He wears a formal attire of the period – a black coat over an off white vest and a shirt that capitulates in a lacy cravat. The work was donated to the Museum of Solomos & Eminent Zakynthians by Sofia Angelakopoulos-Flamburiari along with the portrait of Anastasios, in 1983.

Spyridon Prossalentis (1894-1942). Portrait of the Corfu Philharmonic Society President Georgios L. Flamburiaris (1908-1912), π. 1930, Oil on canvas, 70 x 50 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Philharmonic Society.

Georgios Leonidou Flamburiaris (1857-1935) served as President of the Corfu Philharmonic Society (1908-1912) and of the Corfu Reading Society three times (1921-1925, 1929-1930 καὶ 1933-1935).

Spyros Sourtzinos (b. 1948). Portrait of the Corfu Reading Society Benefactor Spiro Flamburiari (b. 1930), 2020, Oil on canvas, 50 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Reading Society.

Spiro Leonidou Flamburiari (b. 1930) is an entrepreneur active in England. In 2000 he created the Corfu Heritage Foundation to preserve and protect the historic legacy of Corfu and simultaneously promote Anglo-Hellenic relations. In addition, he continues the family tradition to strengthen the public benefit work of the Corfu Reading Society, the oldest cultural institution in Greece, with an uninterrupted operation since 1836.

Milly Flamburiari (England, b. 1945). Reproduction of the Flamburiari Genealogical Tree (1620-1920) with branches in Corfu and Zante, created by I. Vlachopoulos, in the possession of the San Stefano Estate, Benitses, c. 1980, Enamel on board, 50 x 40 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Heritage Foundation.
Anonymous (Corfu). Flamburari Family Coat of Arms, c. 1900. Ink and gouache on silk, 40 x 30 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Heritage Foundation.
Megakles Rogakos (England, b. 1972). Relief of the Flamburari Family Coat of Arms, 2020. Gold leaf on plaster, 40 x 40 x 3 cm. Courtesy of the Corfu Heritage Foundation.