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Article

Travel to Greece and Polychromy in the 19th Century: Mutations of Ideals of Beauty and Greek Antiquities

1
Institute for the History and Theory of Architecture (GTA), Department of Architecture, ETH Zurich, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, CH 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
2
Faculty of Art Theory and History, Athens School of Fine Arts, 42 Patission Street, 106 82 Athens, Greece
3
School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, 42 Patission Street, 106 82 Athens, Greece
Academic Editor: Nicola Masini
Heritage 2022, 5(2), 1050-1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020057
Received: 25 February 2022 / Revised: 16 May 2022 / Accepted: 17 May 2022 / Published: 19 May 2022
The article examines the collaborations between the pensionnaires of the Villa Medici in Rome and the members of the French School of Athens, shedding light on the complex relationships between architecture, art, and archeology. The second half of the 19th century was a period during which the exchanges and collaborations between archaeologists, artists, and architects acquired a reinvented role and a dominant place. Within such a context, Athens was the place par excellence, where the encounter between these three disciplines took place. The main objective of the article is to render explicit how the revelations of archeology, actively disseminated by the members of the French School of Athens—the “Athéniens”—had an important impact on the approach of certain pensionnaires of the Villa Medici in Rome. Particular emphasis is placed on certain pensionnaires, who decided to devote their envois to ancient monuments of Greece. In parallel, the article intends to shed light on the methods that helped the pensionnaires-architects of the Villa Medici in Rome appropriate archaeological discoveries concerning Greek antiquities. The article takes, as a starting point, the following hypothesis: to better understand the figure of the architect-archaeologist, of whom Jacques Ignace Hittorff is an emblematic example, it is pivotal to bear in mind that before the second half of the 19th century neither the figure of Hellenic archeology nor the figure of the architect had yet acquired their autonomy. Taking into account that Johann Joachim Winckelmann, in the middle of the 18th century, forged an ideal Greek model, which was criticized during the second half of the 19th century, the article also sheds light on the fact that the revelations of archaeologists have called into question the Winckelmannian image of Greece. Another aspect that is explored in the article is Jacques Ignace Hittorff’s studies concerning the polychromy of ancient Greek monuments, paying special attention to his Restitution du temple d’Empédocle à Sélinonte ou l’Architecture polychrome chez les Grecs. The article also explores how the shifts of the status of philhellenism are related to the mutations of the meaning of travel to Greece. In parallel, it investigates the impact of Greek independence on the ideals of beauty and nature in arts, as well as how Greek independence is related to the intensification of the interest in the excavations of Greek antiquities. View Full-Text
Keywords: pensionnaires; Villa Medici in Rome; French School of Athens; École française d’Athènes; envoi; Grand Prix de Rome d’Architecture; 19th century; archaeology; Jacques Ignace Hittorff; Charles Garnier; Charles Ernest Beulé; image of Greece; envois de Rome; Dominique Louis Féréol Papety; polychromy; neo-Greek movement; Johann Joachim Winckelmann; Grand Tour pensionnaires; Villa Medici in Rome; French School of Athens; École française d’Athènes; envoi; Grand Prix de Rome d’Architecture; 19th century; archaeology; Jacques Ignace Hittorff; Charles Garnier; Charles Ernest Beulé; image of Greece; envois de Rome; Dominique Louis Féréol Papety; polychromy; neo-Greek movement; Johann Joachim Winckelmann; Grand Tour
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MDPI and ACS Style

Charitonidou, M. Travel to Greece and Polychromy in the 19th Century: Mutations of Ideals of Beauty and Greek Antiquities. Heritage 2022, 5, 1050-1065. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020057

AMA Style

Charitonidou M. Travel to Greece and Polychromy in the 19th Century: Mutations of Ideals of Beauty and Greek Antiquities. Heritage. 2022; 5(2):1050-1065. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020057

Chicago/Turabian Style

Charitonidou, Marianna. 2022. "Travel to Greece and Polychromy in the 19th Century: Mutations of Ideals of Beauty and Greek Antiquities" Heritage 5, no. 2: 1050-1065. https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage5020057

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