American philhellene captured the Acropolis in the 19th century photos

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American philhellene captured the Acropolis in the 19th century photosStillman was a great Philhellene who served as the United States ambassador in Crete during the Cretan insurrections of the 19th Century and later even married a Greek artist in London

William James Stillman an American journalist, diplomat, author, historian, and photographer captured the magic of Acropolis in 1870 in a series of carbon prints, according to the following article by greekreporter.com:

Relatively unknown in Greece, Stillman was a great Philhellene who served as the United States ambassador in Crete during the Cretan insurrections of the 19th Century and later even married a Greek artist in London.

During his tenure in Crete he was an avowed champion of the Christians in the island as well as of Cretan independence. Consequently, he was regarded with hostility both by the Muslim population and by the Turkish authorities.

In September 1868 he resigned and went to Athens where he record to depict his love of the country and its ancient civilization in print.

The Acropolis and the Parthenon were the perfect settings for his photography. Critics have argued that Stillman’s album of views of the Athenian Acropolis, displayed an artistic sensibility and a genius of a higher order.

The Acropolis of Athens: Illustrated Picturesquely and Architecturally in Photography was published in London in 1870.

The volume, bound in red leather and measuring 530 by 340 mm, included 25 carbon prints on paper, with simple captions opposite.

Imposing in size and impressive in style and execution, Stillman’s book has since been recognised as among the more important photographic publications of its period.

Stillman left Greece for London where in 1871 he married artist Marie Spartali, a daughter of the Greek consul-general Michael Spartali; even without his permission.

Spartali was a Pre-Raphaelite painter; arguably the most renowned female artist of that movement. During a sixty-year career, she produced over one hundred works, contributing regularly to exhibitions in Great Britain and the United States.

Stillman’s love for Greece led him back to Athens where he served as the correspondent of The Times between 1877-1883.

Following his retirement he lived in Surrey, England, where he died on July 6, 1901.

Sources:

MacManus, D., & Campbell, H. (2015). ‘Illustrated Picturesquely and Architecturally in Photography’: William J. Stillman and the Acropolis in Word and Image. Architectural Histories, 3(1), Art. 22. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/ah.cw

Wikipedia

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

Read more here.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Christophe Meneboeuf License: CC-BY-SA

Source: greekreporter.com

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