In the context of the 200th anniversary of the Greek Revolution, the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation, the National Historical Museum, and the Municipality of Athens are holding an outdoor exhibition hosted at the National Garden (on Vas. Sofias Avenue) from 8 February 2021 until 4 April 2021.
The exhibition presents 22 portraits of some of the 320 exceptional individuals depicted by Benjamin Mary (1792-1846), a Belgian diplomat in Greece. The drawings were made from life, mainly in Athens, between 1839 and 1844.
The portraits are being published for the first time, and bring us into contact with well-known and hitherto unknown figures of the Greek Revolution and Ottoman Greece, through the sensitive and penetrating eyes of a European artist. Fighters, politicians, priests, scholars, philhellenes, everyday people pose patiently for their portrait, and Benjamin Mary manages to capture their expression at a unique moment in history.
Among those portrayed are: Kolokotronis, Nikitaras, Lazaros Koundouriotis, Makriyiannis, Christodoulos Hatzipetrou, George Finlay, Panoutsos Notaras, Theoklitos Pharmakidis, Nikolaos Thisefs, Vasileios Petimesas, Anastasios Mavromichalis, Ilias Salafatinos, Ioannis Kolettis, Ioannis Karatzas, Dimitrios and Costas Botsaris, among many others. More historical data as well as information about the individuals depicted are contained in the publication of the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation and the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece - National Historical Museum: Η Ιστορία έχει πρόσωπο – Μορφές του 1821 στην Ελλάδα του Όθωνα από τον βέλγο διπλωμάτη Benjamin Mary (Αθήνα, 2020).