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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Landscape of Athens, with Particular Emphasis on its Conjectural Representations in Antiquity

Besides the written sources which describe and comment on the fate of the architectural heritage and historic sites of Athens, the original illustrative works also supply important information. These illustrations were made mainly by foreign painters, designers and architects who visited the town in the 19th century -a trend also followed in the 20th century by quite many Greek artists. The presentation and interpretation of the voluminous relevant illustrative material have just commenced. During the last decade significant monographs on certain artists have been published and a first attempt to present this subject concisely has been made. A common characteristic of these works is their descriptive approach: they furnish information on the artists’s lives, trips and the circumstances under which they have visited Athens and also comment on their sentimental and ideologic approach on the subject they have represented. Furthermore, they analyze, from the art historian’s point of view, the quality of the illustration, the technique and style of the painter. However, although these matters are important for the evaluation of the artistic merit of the illustrations, they do not exhaust the subject, because they only touch occasionally the wealth of pragmatic information included in these works.