From 12.02.1997 to 25.04.1997
The exhibition “The Greek War of Independence – Delacroix and the French Painters”, jointly organized by the National Gallery of Greece and the French National Museum Association, was first held at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux and then at the Delacroix Museum in Paris.
Philhellenism, the moral yet above all practical support to the Greek nation, then fighting for independence, which manifested itself in many European countries, found its ideal expression in France. It should be noted that the Enlightenment and the French Revolution appealed to many and drew them to the fighting Greece. Side by side with political and social philhellenism, the Greek ordeals inspired intellectuals, poets and artists. The massacre at Chios, in April 1822, inspired the young romantic painter Eugène Delacroix to create the eponymous monumental painting in the Louvre. Delacroix’s Greece in the ruins of Missolonghi, the depiction of a nation’s holy passion, came in response to another historic event in the War of Independence: the heroic Exodus from Missolonghi, in April 1826. Starting with this supreme work by Delacroix, this exhibition brought together not only some philhellenic paintings by the romantic artist, but also the majority and the most important out of the 150 philhellenic works located in French museums.
Exhibition Curators: Dr. Claire Constans, Director of Collections, National Museum of Versailles and Triano
Dr. Fani-Maria Tsingakou, Curator, Benaki Museum
Efi Agathonikou, Curator, National Gallery of Greece