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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Philhellenism ("the love of Greek culture") was an intellectual fashion prominent at the turn of the 19th century, that led Europeans like Lord Byron or Charles Nicolas Fabvier to advocate for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. Byron provided concrete assistance in commissioning several seagoing war vessels that proved to be useful in the successful Greek War of Independence in the early 1820s, as well as sacrificing his life to the cause.

The later 19th-century European Philhellenism was largely to be found among the Classicists, a field undergoing a growing split between anthropological and Classicist approaches to ancient Greece.

Philhellenism and art

Philhellenism also created a renewed interest in the artistic movement of Neoclassicism, which idealized 5th-century Classical Greek art and architecture., very much at second hand, through the writings of the first generation of art historians, like Johann Joachim Winckelmann and Gotthold Ephraim Lessing.

The groundswell of the Philhellenic movement was result of two generations of intrepid artists and amateur treasure-seekers, from Stuart and Revett, who published their measured drawings as The Antiquities of Athens and culminating with the removal of sculptures from Aegina and the Parthenon (the Elgin marbles), works that ravished the British Philhellenes, many of whom, however, deplored their removal.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Philhellenism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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