An exhibition of watercolors by Irish classical scholar and artist Edward Dodwell (about 1777–1832) and Italian artist Simone Pomardi (1757-1830) was inaugurated on 27 September in the Curia Julia at the Roman Forum. The project is being managed by President Richard Hodges of The American University of Rome, and curated by John Camp, Director of the Agora Excavations in Athens, and looks at Greece through the eyes of the two artists. Throughout the eighteenth century, generations of young men from Europe’s leading families went to Italy and Greece to complete an education that had largely comprised the learning of Latin and Greek. The beauty of its landscape and the romance of its classical ruins were the primary reasons for traveling to those countries. During their travels in 1805-6, Dodwell and Pomardi recorded Greece and its people in a series of fascinating and spectacular drawings and watercolors. They represent a unique record of an important chapter in the rediscovery of ancient Greece on the eve of the creation of the modern Greek state.
Dodwell was a talented amateur who signed many of the watercolours and drawings, even though some of them he worked on with Pomardi, others were Pomardi’s own work. Many of the paintings were engraved in Dodwell’s own published accounts of his travels in 1819: “A Classical and Topographical Tour Through Greece, During the Years 1801, 1805, and 1806”. A few drawings exist in other collections, but the majority, over 800 in total, remained in the possession of Dodwell’s Irish descendants until they were purchased in 2002 by David Packard for the Packard Humanities Institute in Los Altos, California. He was advised by the distinguished American archaeologist John Camp, who has carefully catalogued the collection and made a representative selection of 67 works.
Kindly lent by the Packard Humanities Institute, these works were formerly hosted at the British Museum last spring with the name “In Search of Classical Greece”. The exhibition in Italy – open until the 23rd of February 2014 – was promoted by the Special Superintendency for the Archaeological Heritage of Rome, in collaboration with Electa.
- When: 27/09/2013 – 23/02/2014
From 8.30 to 18.30 until 26 October and from 8.30 to 16.30 until 23 February
- Where: Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
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