introduction
the profile of the travellers
from a dutch point of view
the power of monuments
idealized landscapes
in search of antiquities
everyday life among ruins
in the service of the divine
athens: a place or an ideal?
ancient vs. contemporary

acknowledgements
selected bibliography
catalogue
links and resources travellers
 

 


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idealized landscapes

Athens, its plain, the surrounding amphitheater of mountains, the sea and the islands
form a most beautiful and interesting picture

Sir Grenville Temple on the view from the Parthenon (1836)

Drawn to images of a glorious past, to mystical landscapes and majestic buildings, artists of the 18th and 19th century wished to capture the dramatic effect that ancient ruins had in the hearts and minds of people that visited them. In such depictions, ruined buildings provided the perfect setting for idealized scenes of shepherds and companies of young men and women dining, drinking and dancing in the countryside.

As long as there was something ancient and nostalgic about the scene, the time, place and faithful depictions of ruins were irrelevant. As such, artists composed landscapes of real and imaginary ruins, filtered through the perceptions of antiquity and the aesthetics of their time.