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, www.artcorfu.grpinakcrf1@gmail.com.

Visual Material: High-resolution images of the poster and the works in the exhibition can be found at the following hyperlink: www.corfuheritagefoundation.org/hymn-to-liberty/.

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.

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