Greek War of Independence 1821 in Art 

- Art Gallery -

The Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios is a large chalcography (45 × 29 cm) printed in Vienna in 1797 by Rigas Feraios. It depicts a portrait of Alexander the Great framed by war scenes and portraits of his generals. The etching was incised by François Müller,[1] who cooperated with Rigas for his cartographic work which he published the same year: Rigas' Map of Greece (1797), the New Map of Wallachia (1797) and the General Map of Moldavia (1797). It was released in 1200 copies from the printing press of Nitsch. One of the two copies that have been discovered in Greece is displayed in the National Historical Museum of Greece.[2]


The pamphlet is divided into two parts: the figurative and the explanatory. The iconographic representation occupies the largest part of the picture, while she is repeated in reduction in the left corner. The head of Alexander ( his identity is given in the explanatory ) prevails in the center. He has long hair, wears a helmet decorated with winged dragon tail to the side and human face at the cornice, while the breastplate is decorated with a human figure. The portrait is surrounded by an octagonal frame and is divided in 8 unequal trapezoidal panels. In the four smaller ones, the heads of his most notable generals are illustrated and their names are written in capital letters: Seleucus, Antigonus, Cassander and Ptolemy. In the larger horizontal panels, four multifaceted scenes are pictured from the expedition against the Persians: 1. The triumphal entry of Alexander into Babylon, 2. The fleeing of Persians at Granicus River, 3. The defeat of Darius, 4. The family of the defeated king at the feet of Alexander.[3]

The explanatory text is bilingual (Greek and French) and written in two columns. It is also divided in 3 sections which are distinguished by 3 separate paragraphs at the upper part of the page. The first section is referred to the subject of the picture and the sources that its creator has used.[4] The second section is referred to the personality of Alexander with a short and comprehensive biographical text.[5] The third section is the colophon and declares the creator of the picture and the aim of the publication.[6]

The existence of the ancient seal which was used as an archetype, as Rigas mentions in the explanatory text, is not disputed but it has been proved that he copies with some variations, an etching that he detected during his stay in Vienna. It is about the picture that the engraver Salomon Kleiner created and Joseph de France (general director of the imperial treasury of the imperial gallery and the monetary collections) published in 1749 in Vienna.[7] The two etchings show great similarities in the portraits of Alexander the Great and his generals, while Rigas adds to the explanatory text historical information for the action of Alexander. The rest of the scenes are different because their copy was difficult due to their complex composition. Archetypes of these two etchings are the paintings of the French painter Charles Le Brun, whose copy was quite popular in Europe during 17th and 18th century.
Rigas' goals and the pamphlet's interpretation

As Rigas stated to the Austrian authorities, the publication of the pamphlet aimed to the awakening of Greek’s national consciousness. The historical information that he quotes, aim to the national uplift of the enslaved and to the connection with the glorious ancient past, just like the rest of Riga’s publications. The short and comprehensive biography of Alexander makes him a legendary hero who survived through the centuries and became an example to follow. Through his legendary accomplishments becomes the timeless symbol of national liberation in Modern Greek consciousness. The Ottoman conquerors are identified with the Persians who should be repelled same way as the Macedonian king did. Rigas published this portrait for one more reason which is detected to the colophon of the picture. The phrase “for the Greeks and the Philhellenes” makes it clear that the enslaved Greeks must rise up and claim their independence, mainly counting on the help of France, since during this period the Great Napoleon promises the liberation of the Greeks.
Impact and effects of the pamphlet
Figurehead of Miaoulis' Aris, 1816

The pamphlet accomplished the establishment of the portrait of Alexander the Great as the “authentic” hero pattern. Until the late 19th century, this portrait is often repeated with some variations, while its spread contributed to the creation of the idealized warrior hero pattern. The pamphlet is repeated as frontispiece to the version of Arrian's “Sozomena”, which was edited by Neophytos Doukas and was published in 1809 in Vienna.[8][9] In 1816 the figure of Alexander the Great, as Rigas Velestinlis designed it, adorned the figurehead on Andreas Miaoulis ship, Aris (Mars).[10]

After the Greek Revolution the figure of Alexander the Great was the inspiration to artists or writers who wanted to stimulate the self-knowledge of the Greeks with their works. A good example is the release of an etching in 1849 in Athens which was created by the lithographer Ioannis Koronaios.[11]

The pamphlet of Alexander the Great and all the following allegoric pictures intended to the awakening of the Greek consciousness and they can be included in the large category of images of national purpose. This name was established on the occasion of the national purpose paintings that were released in 1940 from the School of Fine Arts for the national resistance against the Italian and later the German troops.[12]

The name of the engraver is not referred to the Sheet. It was referred by Rigas in the Austrian authorities during his interrogation. Legrant-Laios, «Ανέκδοτα έγγραφα περί Ρήγα Βελεστινλή», ΔΙΕΕΕ 3(1891), p. 654-655.
Two more copies of the Sheet are known. The first is in the National Library of Vienna. G. Laios, «Οι χάρτες του Ρήγα», ΔΙΕΕΕ 14 (1960), p. 292 and Olga Gratziou «Το Μονόφυλλο του Ρήγα του 1797. Παρατηρήσεις στη νεοελληνική εικονογραφία του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου», Μνήμων, p.130. The second copy is in the Library of the Romanian Academy in Bucharest. Leandros Vranousis (ed.), «Ρήγας Βελεστινλής Φεραίος», Athens 1968, p. 36. Olga Gratziou «Το Μονόφυλλο του Ρήγα του 1797. Παρατηρήσεις στη νεοελληνική εικονογραφία του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου», Μνήμων, p.130. «Το όραμα του Ρήγα. Ο Ρήγας στις Παραδουνάβιες Ηγεμονίες». Exhibition catalogue. 1998, p. 60-61.
Spyridon Lambros did the first presentation of the pamphlet in “Ethniki Agogi” (“Εθνική Αγωγή”) 1 (1898), p. 129
[α]Μέγεθος/της πέτρας.Το εγχάραγμα τούτο παριστάνει το πρόσωπον τον / 'Αλεξάνδρου κ(αί)των 4: αρχιστρατήγων τον, καθ'/ομοίωσιν μιας Ανατολικής κόκκινης Πέτρας Αγάθου,/ ήτις ευρίσκεται εις το αυτοκρατορικον ταμείον/ εν Βιέννη. Τα 4: τριγυρινά εικονίσματα, παριστά /νουν, το 1:την θριαμβευτικήν είσοδον είς την/Βαβυλώνα, το 2: την φυγήν των περσών εις/ τον Γρανικόν Ποταμόν το 3: την ήτταν τον Δαρείου, κ(α\)το 4: την φαμιλίαν τον νικημένου τούτου βασιλέως είς τους πόδας του Αλεξάνδρου.
Ο Αλέξανδρος γεννηθείς εις τους 355:προ Χριστού, εσπόδασε την φιλοσοφίαν εις τον Αριστοτέλη, έκαμε τα πρώτα δείγματα της ανδρείας, κ(αι) της πολεμικής αξιότητός του εις την μάχην της Χαιρωνείας, υπό την διοίκησιν του πατρός του, κ(αι) διεδέχθη τον θρόνον της Μακεδονίας 21:χρόνου γνωρισθείς αρχηγός των Ελλήνων εις τους 333:διεύθηνε τας δυνάμεις των κατά των Περσών, εχάλασε την αυτοκρατορίαν των εις την Ασίαν κ(αι) Αφρικήν, κ(αι) την ήνωσε με την ειδκήν του. Πολλαί αξιόλογοι πόλεις ακόμι, τω χρεωστούν την ύπαρξίν τους. Απέθανε 32:χρόνων, βασιλεύσας 12.
Εξεδόθη παρά του Ρήγα Βελεστινλή Θετταλού, χάριν των Ελλήνων κ(αι) φιλελλήνων 1797.
Laios 1962, p. 292. and Gratziou, p. 136.
F. Iliou, Ελληνική Βιβλιογραφία του 19ου αιώνα. Βιβλία-Φυλλάδια, vol. A΄, 1801-1818, Athens, p. 249-250
Th. Theodorou, «Ο Μεγαλέξανδρος του Ρήγα (the second printing-1809)», Συλλογές, 1986, p. 668.
Ioannis Mazarakis – Ainian, Τα ακρόπρωρα του Εθνικού Ιστορικού Μουσείου, Athens, 2007.
Dimitra Koukiou-Mitropoulou, «Μια εικόνα του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου φιλοτεχνημένη το 1849 στην Αθήνα από τον Ιωάννη Κορωναίο», Τεκμήρια Ιστορίας. Μονογραφίες, Athens, 2015.

Dimitra Koukiou-Mitropoulou, «Ο Μέγας Αλέξανδρος του Ρήγα. Προπομπός των εικόνων εθνικής σκοπιμότητος προς ενίσχυση του Λαϊκού φρονήματος», newspaper “Η Καθημερινή”, Επτά Ημέρες, May 17th 1998, p. 8.


Amantos, K., Ανέκδοτα έγγραφα περί Ρήγα Βελεστινλή. Σύλλογος προς Διάδοσιν Ωφελίμων Βιβλίων. Historical and Folklore Library, No. 7. Athens, 1930.
Daskalakis, Ap., Les oeuvres de Rhigas Velestinlis, Paris 1936,
Daskalakis, V., Ο Ρήγας Βελεστινλής ως Διδάσκαλος του Γένους. ΄Εκδοσις νέα μετά συμπληρώσεων και προσθηκών. Athens, 1977.
Gratziou Olga, «Το Μονόφυλλο του Ρήγα του 1797. Παρατηρήσεις στη νεοελληνική εικονογραφία του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου», Μνήμων, Athens, 1980.
Kamarianos, N., Ρήγας Βελεστινλής, Συμπληρώσεις και διορθώσεις για τη ζωή και το έργο του. Introduction – Translation – Commentary Ath. Karathanasis, Επιστημονική Εταιρεία Μελέτης Φερών – Βελεστίνου-Ρήγα, Athens 1999.
Koukiou-Mitropoulou, Dimitra, «Ο Μέγας Αλέξανδρος του Ρήγα. Προπομπός των εικόνων εθνικής σκοπιμότητος προς ενίσχυση του Λαϊκού φρονήματος», newspaper “Η Καθημερινή”, Επτά Ημέρες, May 17, 1998.
Koukiou-Mitropoulou, Dimitra, «Μια εικόνα του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου φιλοτεχνημένη το 1849 στην Αθήνα από τον Ιωάννη Κορωναίο», Τεκμήρια Ιστορίας. Μονογραφίες, Athens, 2015.
Laios, G., Οι χάρτες του Ρήγα, Αθήνα, ΔΙΕΕ, 1960.
Legrand Em., Ανέκδοτα έγγραφα περί Ρήγα Βελεστινλή και των συν αυτώ μαρτυρησάντων. Εκ των εν Βιέννη αρχείων εξαχθέντα και δημοσιευθέντα υπό Αιμιλίου Λεγράνδ. Μετά μεταφράσεως ελληνικής υπό Σπυρίδωνος Λάμπρου. Athens, 1891.
Vranousis, L. I., Ρήγας. Έρευνα, συναγωγή και μελέτη. Athens, Βασική Βιβλιοθήκη -10.
Μεγάλη Ελληνική Εγκυκλοπαίδεια, Athens, Π. Δρανδάκη, Φοίνιξ, χ.χρ.
Παγκόσμιο Βιογραφικό Λεξικό, Athens, Εκδοτική Αθηνών, 1985.
Ρήγα Βελεστινλή. Έκθεση αφιερωμένη στα 200 χρόνια από το θάνατό του, Athens, National Historical Museum, 1998. (exhibition catalogue).
Το όραμα του Ρήγα. Ο Ρήγας στις Παραδουνάβιες Ηγεμονίες. Exhibition catalogue. Athens, 1998.


Main Ideas

Modern Greek Enlightenment Greek Independence Civic nationalism Liberalism Constitutionalism Education Rule of law Civil liberties Popular sovereignty Demotic Greek Freedom of religion


School for Delicate Lovers Ephimeris Map of Greece Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios New Map of Wallachia and part of Transylvania General Map of Moldavia New Political Constitution Thourios Patriotic Hymn New Anacharsis


Christoforos Perraivos Osman Pazvantoğlu Georgios Theocharis Poulios Brothers Emmanuel Brothers


Hellenic Nomarchy Nebojša Tower Rigas Feraios Square (Larissa) Greek Communist Youth – Rigas Feraios


Modern Greek Enlightenment
Main Ideas

Greek Independence Nationalism Liberalism Constitutionalism Education Westernization Hellenization Freedom of religion Greek language

Cover of Hermes o Logios

Asma Polemistirion Salpisma Polemistirion Adelphiki Didaskalia Geographia Neoteriki Hellenic Nomarchy Hellenic Library Ephimeris Calliope Rossaglogallos Hermes o Logios Politika Parallela Thourios or Patriotic hymn Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios Map of Greece New Map of Wallachia and part of Transylvania Real Bliss General Map of Moldavia Gnostike, Stoicheia Philosophias


Ottoman Empire: Athonite Academy Evangelical School Kaplaneios Maroutsaia New Academy Phanar Greek Orthodox College Phrontisterion of Trapezous

Diaspora: Flanginian School Princely Academy of Bucharest Princely Academy of Iași


Methodios Anthrakites Kosmas Balanos Athanasios Christopoulos Neophytos Doukas Vikentios Damodos Theoklitos Farmakidis Rigas Feraios Anthimos Gazis Georgios Gennadios Theophilos Kairis Theodore Kavalliotis Grigorios Konstantas Adamantios Korais Konstantinos Koumas Stefanos Kanellos Sevastos Leontiadis Benjamin of Lesbos Iosipos Moisiodax Minas Minoidis Konstantinos Michail Daniel Moscopolites Konstantinos Nikolopoulos Michail Papageorgiou Christodoulos Pablekis Daniel Philippidis Athanasios Psalidas Theoklitos Polyeidis Athanasios Stageiritis Konstantinos Tzechanis Neophytos Vamvas Ioannis Vilaras Eugenios Voulgaris


Philomuse Society Filiki Eteria Ionian Academy Orphanage of Kairis


Greek War of Independence (1821–1829)
Ottoman Greece

Armatoloi Proestoi Klephts Dionysius the Philosopher Daskalogiannis Panagiotis Benakis Konstantinos Kolokotronis Lambros Katsonis Cosmas of Aetolia Ali Pasha Maniots Phanariots Souliotes Gregory V of Constantinople


Orlov Revolt Souliote War (1803)

Greek Enlightenment

Athanasios Christopoulos Theoklitos Farmakidis Rigas Feraios Anthimos Gazis Theophilos Kairis Adamantios Korais Eugenios Voulgaris


Ellinoglosso Xenodocheio Filiki Eteria
Nikolaos Skoufas Athanasios Tsakalov Emmanuil Xanthos Panagiotis Anagnostopoulos Philomuse Society Society of the Phoenix


Adelphiki Didaskalia Asma Polemistirion Hellenic Nomarchy Pamphlet of Rigas Feraios Salpisma Polemistirion Thourios or Patriotic hymn

European intervention and
Greek involvement in
the Napoleonic Wars

Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774) Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca Greek Plan of Catherine the Great Russo-Turkish War (1787–1792) French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars
Fall of the Republic of Venice Republican French rule in the Ionian Islands Septinsular Republic Greek Legion Imperial French rule in the Ionian Islands Albanian Regiment Adriatic campaign of 1807–1814 1st Regiment Greek Light Infantry United States of the Ionian Islands


Nationalism Eastern Orthodox Christianity Liberalism Constitutionalism


Patras Salona Navarino Livadeia 1st Acropolis Tripolitsa Arta Acrocorinth Nauplia 1st Messolonghi 2nd Messolonghi 3rd Messolonghi 2nd Acropolis


Kalamata Wallachian uprising Alamana Gravia Valtetsi Doliana Lalas Vasilika Dragashani Sculeni Vasilika Trench Peta Dervenakia Karpenisi Greek civil wars Sphacteria Maniaki Lerna Mills Mani Distomo Arachova Kamatero Phaleron Chios expedition Martino Koronisia Petra


Constantinople Thessaloniki Navarino Tripolitsa Naousa <a href="MassacreOfSamothrace.html">Samothrace</a> <a href="ChiosMassacre.html">Chios</a> Psara Kasos

Naval conflicts

Eresos Chios Nauplia Samos Andros Sphacteria Gerontas Souda Alexandria Volos Itea Navarino


Greek sloop Karteria Greek brig Aris

Greek regional councils and statutes

Messenian Senate Directorate of Achaea Peloponnesian Senate Senate of Western Continental Greece Areopagus of Eastern Continental Greece Provisional Regime of Crete Military-Political System of Samos

Greek national assemblies

First (Epidaurus) (Executive of 1822) Second (Astros) Third (Troezen) Fourth (Argos) Fifth (Nafplion)

International Conferences,
Treaties and Protocols

Congress of Laibach Congress of Verona Protocol of St. Petersburg (1826) Treaty of London Conference of Poros London Protocol of 1828 London Protocol of 1829 Treaty of Adrianople London Protocol of 1830 London Conference Treaty of Constantinople


Greek expedition to Syria (1825) Russo-Turkish War (1828-29)


Chian Committee Odysseas Androutsos Anagnostaras Markos Botsaris Laskarina Bouboulina Constantin Denis Bourbaki Hatzimichalis Dalianis Kanellos Deligiannis Athanasios Diakos Germanos III of Old Patras Dimitrios Kallergis Athanasios Kanakaris Constantine Kanaris Ioannis Kapodistrias Stamatios Kapsas Panagiotis Karatzas Georgios Karaiskakis Nikolaos Kasomoulis Ioannis Kolettis Theodoros Kolokotronis Georgios Kountouriotis Antonios Kriezis Nikolaos Kriezotis Kyprianos of Cyprus Georgios Lassanis Lykourgos Logothetis Andreas Londos Yannis Makriyannis Manto Mavrogenous Alexandros Mavrokordatos Petrobey Mavromichalis Andreas Metaxas Andreas Miaoulis Theodoros Negris Nikitaras Antonis Oikonomou Ioannis Orlandos Papaflessas Dimitrios Papanikolis Emmanouel Pappas Christoforos Perraivos Nikolaos Petimezas Panagiotis Rodios Georgios Sachtouris Georgios Sisinis Iakovos Tombazis Anastasios Tsamados Meletis Vasileiou Demetrios Ypsilantis


António Figueira d'Almeida Michail Komninos Afentoulief Joseph Balestra Lord Byron François-René de Chateaubriand Richard Church Giuseppe Chiappe Lord Cochrane Vincenzo Gallina Charles Fabvier Thomas Gordon Frank Abney Hastings Carl von Heideck Vasos Mavrovouniotis Johann Jakob Meyer
Ellinika Chronika Karl Normann Maxime Raybaud Giuseppe Rosaroll Santorre di Santa Rosa Friedrich Thiersch Auguste Hilarion Touret German Legion [el] Serbs Olivier Voutier

Moldavia and Wallachia
(Danubian Principalities)

Alexander Ypsilantis Sacred Band Nikolaos Ypsilantis Alexandros Kantakouzinos Georgios Kantakouzinos Athanasios Agrafiotis Giorgakis Olympios Yiannis Pharmakis Dimitrie Macedonski Tudor Vladimirescu Konstantinos Xenokratis Anastasios Manakis Stamatios Kleanthis

Ottoman Empire, Algeria, and Egypt

Sultan Mahmud II Hurshid Pasha Nasuhzade Ali Pasha Ismael Gibraltar Omer Vrioni Kara Mehmet Mahmud Dramali Pasha Koca Hüsrev Mehmed Pasha Reşid Mehmed Pasha Yussuf Pasha Ibrahim Pasha Soliman Pasha al-Faransawi

Britain, France and Russia

George Canning Stratford Canning Edward Codrington Henri de Rigny Lodewijk van Heiden Alexander I of Russia Nicholas I of Russia

Financial aid

London Philhellenic Committee Ludwig I of Bavaria Jean-Gabriel Eynard Lazaros Kountouriotis Ioannis Papafis Georgios Stavros Ioannis Varvakis Rothschild & Co

Morea expedition

Nicolas Joseph Maison Antoine Simon Durrieu Antoine Virgile Schneider Auguste Regnaud de Saint-Jean d'Angély Camille Alphonse Trézel


Jean Baptiste Bory de Saint-Vincent Léon-Jean-Joseph Dubois Pierre Peytier Stamatis Voulgaris Guillaume-Abel Blouet Gabriel Bibron Prosper Baccuet Eugène Emmanuel Amaury Duval Pierre-Narcisse Guérin Charles Lenormant Edgar Quinet


Dimitrios Ainian Fotis Chrysanthopoulos Ioannis Filimon George Finlay Ambrosios Frantzis Konstantinos Metaxas Panoutsos Notaras Panagiotis Papatsonis Anastasios Polyzoidis Georgios Tertsetis Spyridon Trikoupis


Eugène Delacroix Louis Dupré Peter von Hess Victor Hugo François Pouqueville Alexander Pushkin Karl Krazeisen Andreas Kalvos Dionysios Solomos Theodoros Vryzakis Hellas The Reception of Lord Byron at Missolonghi Greece on the Ruins of Missolonghi Le siège de Corinthe The Massacre at Chios The Free Besieged Hymn to Liberty The Archipelago on Fire Loukis Laras The Apotheosis of Athanasios Diakos


25 March (Independence Day) Hymn to Liberty Eleftheria i thanatos Pedion tou Areos Propylaea (Munich) Garden of Heroes (Missolonghi) Royal Phalanx Evzones (Presidential Guard)

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