The Ionian Islands and Western Greece: Drawings made by Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi, 1801 & 1805-1806
From: 18 July 2014 Until: 25 September 2014
Grand Opening: 12 August 2014
This exhibition looked at the Ionian Islands and Western Greece filtered thought the eyes of the Irish painter, traveller and writer on archaeology Edward Dodwell (about 1777–1832) and his Italian artist, Simone Pomardi (1757-1830). The exhibition took place at the Museum of Asian Art in the historical centre of Corfu, opened to the public Friday, July 18 and ran through Thursday, September 25.
The works kindly lent by the Packard Humanities Institute represent in the early nineteenth century the landscape and people of the Ionian Islands and Western Greece in a series of unique and impressive drawings and watercolours. The exhibition curated by Despina Zernioti CMG, Director of the Museum of Asian Art and Professor John McK. Camp, Director of the Agora Excavations, American School of Classical Studies at Athens.
Works from the Packard Humanities Institute collection were formerly hosted by the British Museum, London (7 February -28 April 2013) with the name “In Search of Classical Greece” and by the Curia of the Roman Forum, Rome entitled “The rediscovery of antiquity. Watercolors by Edward Dodwell and Simone Pomardi” (27 September 2013-23 February 2014).
Throughout the eighteenth century generations of young men from Europe’s leading families went to Italy and Greece to improve their education and complete their upbringing. The beauty of the Greek landscape and romance of its classical ruins were the primary reasons for travel to Greece under Ottoman rule. Dodwell made two trips to Greece, in 1801 and 1805/18076 and as a talented amateur he 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 them 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.