The Gennadius Library
“Ioannis Makriyannis” Wing, Gennadius Library (61 Souidias St., Kolonaki)
210-72.10.536 (ext. 301)
The exhibition, which was on view from June 5 to September 29, 2018, was dedicated to Ioannis Makriyannis (1797-1864), fighter in the Greek War of Independence and advocate of the Constitution, therefore a powerful national myth, and, according to Nobel Prize winner George Seferis, "a great teacher of our language". The central core of the exhibition were 24 emblematic paintings that "narrate" episodes from the War of Independence of 1821. Makriyannis instructed the folk painters Panagiotis and Dimitrios Zografos from Sparta to depict separate scenes of battles as he described them in his Memoirs. The result was a series of images remarkable for their vitality and strength. In 1909 John Gennadius bought one of the four original series of the watercolour paintings, which belonged to King Otto and now exhibited at the Gennadius Library.
The exhibition, which was accompanied by an illustrated catalog, also presented archival material related to the life and action of General Makriyannis, as well as personal items that kindly lent for the exhibition the National Historical Museum, the Historical Archives of the Benaki Museum, the General Archives of the State and the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation.