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The Herodeion, or Theatre of Herodes Atticus ,Athens.

Gasparini Andrea. The Interior of the Theatre of Herodes Atticus. " Interno del Theatro di Erode Attico o Bacco.." Rome Unknown. 1844
Copper engraving of the Herodeion or Theatre of Herodes Atticus by Andrea Gasperini. Black & white; verso blank. Dedication to "Signor Alessandro Cipriani di Livorno, amatore e dislinto cultore di belle arti" with the artist's sincere friendship and gratiude.
A rare engraving, as far as we can determine it was seperately issued, ie never bound as a book with the others of the series.
The large view shows the interior of the Roman theatre built by Herodes Atticus in 174AD. Abandoned and grown over by vegetation; a place to bring cows to graze. In the foreground carved fragments of the building; in the background can be seen the monument of Phillpappos. Good dark impression; some spotting within image; tear to upper margin, repaired; lower right corner torn with loss of blank margib.

Andrea Gasparini, produced a series of engravings of Monuments of Athens, all dedicated to Alessandro Cipriani of Livorno, little is known about the artist or why Sig. Cipriani was interested in the views.
The engravings are interesting for what they show of life in Greece after the fall of the Ottomans; whilst showing the monuments they also show life in Athens as a Greek town.
In a number of the views Gasparini shows festivals or celebrations taking place at the sites.; they also reveal how small the 'city' was .
Athens was chosen as the Greek capital for historical and sentimental reasons, not because it was a large city: there are few buildings in Athens from the period of Byzantine Empire and the 18th century.
At the time these views were published new buildings were being erected : the University of Athens (1837), the Royal Palace (now the Greek Parliament Building) (1843), the National Garden of Athens (1840), the National Library of Greece (1842) but it is clear from the views that Athens was a small the time of their drawing.
450 by 585mm (17¾ by 23 inches) plate mark.   ref: 1907  €1200

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