An outdoor exhibition on the 200 years since the Greek Revolution of 1821 is being organised in the National Garden in central Athens by the National Historical Museum and the Municipality of Athens.
The exhibition, which is part of the celebrations for the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution and will run until April, features 22 paintings with some of the 320 unique faces painted by Benjamin Mary (1792-1846), a Belgian diplomat in Greece.
The sketches were drawn from life, mainly in Athens, between 1839 and 1844. They are being shown for the first time and bring us in contact with both well known and lesser known figures of the Greek Revolution and the early years of the nascent modern Greek state, under the reign of King Otto, through the sensitive and penetrating gaze of a European artist. Among others, they include Theodoros Kolokotronis, Nikitaras, Lazaros Kountouriotis, Yiannis Makrigiannis, Christodoulos Hadjipetrou, George Finlay, Panoutsos Notaras, Theoklitos Farmakidis, Nikolaos Theseus, Ioannis Kolettis, Ioannis Karatzas, Kostas Botsaris and others.
More historical data, as well as information about the people in the paintings, are contained in a publication prepared by the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece – National History Museum: “History has a face – Figures of 1821 in Otto’s Greece by the Belgian diplomat Benjamin Mary (Athens, 2020)”.
This is “an exhibition recording the people who wrote history in a place that hosted a large part of the country’s history,” said, among others, the mayor of Athens, Kostas Bakoyannis.