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by Archaeology Newsroom

Extracts from the John Foster Jnr letters

Extracts are published from three letters that Foster sent his father in 1812 from Zante, where the sculptures from the temple of Bassae were on display for their sale. Foster informs his father of the excavations’ rich “harvest” as he calls it. He praises the treasures which he considers superior to those of the Parthenon and asks his father to convince the British Government to buy them. The letters were accompanied by thirty-seven drawings of the sculptures from the temple of Bassae and three drawings of the temple of Aphaia sculptures. In three other drawings where the temple of Bassae is incorporated in the surrounding landscape, Foster marvelously combines line drawing and watercolour in a technique known as “aquarellierte zeichnung”. The album with the letters and drawings donated by G. Seferis to the Gennadios Library was bought by the poet in London in 1955 at a Sotheby’s auction.