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by Archaeology Newsroom

Nineteenth-Century Greek Painting

Nineteenth-century Greek painting evolved by following the Eurocentric tendencies of the newly founded state (1830). During the years 1830-1862 the ancient past, the recent War of Independence and the politics of memory, complicated and torturous as they were, gave rise to historiographic painting, which, being academic in style and narrative in nature, acted as a virtue paradigm. The brothers Philippos and Georghios Margaritis, Dionysios Tsokos, Andreas Kriezis and Theodoros Vryzakis, who became later theachers in the School of Arts in Athens, painted portraits and scenes depicting historic events. In the second half of the century the middle and upper class clientele demanded genre and landscape paintings, portraits and still-life pictures, which expressed both their financial and social status and their aesthetic inclinations. Nikiphoros Lytras, Nikolaos Gyzis, Konstantmos Volanakis, loannis Altamouras, Theodoros Rallis and Georghios lakovidis were the mosth prominent among the artists of this period. They faced the new social and artistic reality and dealt successfully with questions and problems related to the intellectual relationship with the European artistic centers. Soon the impact of the French views of art became apparent and replaced the academic style of painting, which had been influenced by the German School of Munich.