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Katabathron of Lake Kopais, Bœotia.

Dodwell, Edward. Katabathron of Lake Kopais. "Katabathron of Lake Kopais." London Rodwell & Martin. 1821
Aquatint view of a Katabathron of Lake Kopais from the Deluxe edition of Dodwell's "Views in Greece". Original hand colour, mounted on card with title caption to verso.
The view shows a katabothra or underground river tunnel at Lake Kopais in Bœotia.
Dodwell says in the text that the one pictured is between the ruins of Akaiphnion and the modern town of Talanda, also that such subterranean passages were known by the ancient authors Strabo, Pausanias and Pliny, the latter describing how every nine years the lake would flood and these passages allowed the water to escape; Strabo considers they may have been caused by earthquakes.
."The basin of tho Copaic lake is surrounded by mountains and like several valleys in Arcadia its waters find outlets by subterranean channels called Katabothra"[ A Handbook for Travellers in Greece: Describing the Ionian Islands ...By John Murray ] Bright and clean.

Edward Dodwell (1767 1832)
was an Irish painter, traveller, antiquary and a writer on archaeology. Educated at Trinity College Cambridge.

Dodwell travelled to Greece in 1801 in company with Sir William Gell touring the Ionian Islands and the Troad, In 1805-6 when he was allowed leave of absence to travel by the government of Bonaparte, in whose hands he was a prisoner, he returned to Greece accompanied by the Italian artist Simone Pomardi, touring mainland Greece and the Ionian Islands meeting again with Sir William Gell towards the end of the tour. During this second tour he and Pomardi produced around 1000 drawings which would become the basis for A Classical and Topographical Tour through Greece during the years 1801, 1805 and 1806published in 1819, the work was dedicated to
Le Chevalier who had arranged his parole.

"The Dodwell-Pomardi practice was to draw freehand on the spot if the landscape or ruin was condensed into a particular feature rather than an extensive view, often in pen in grey or sepia ink and wash if by Pomardi, and more roughly in pencil if by Dodwell; much more deliberate drawing followed, with the assistance of the camera obscura if a more detailed and complex composition was required — without it, Pomardi and Dodwell would have produced far fewer illustrations. The finished drawings were developed later, in Italy, from a compilation of outlines, sketches and precise notes; on these, both men worked together in a concerted campaign to reach a definitive publishable stage, probably with the assistance of other artists,"[ Brian Sewell ;"In Search of Classical Greece: Travel Drawings of Edward Dodwell And Simone Pomardi 1805-1806," British Museum - exhibition review]
The Classical Tour is illustrated with lithographs of the drawings as the intended aquatint illustrations proved too expensive to produce. Thirty aquatint plates were chosen to be issued separately as Views in Greece published in 1821.

Dodwell settled in Italy after his return, living chiefly in Naples and Rome. He had amassed a large collection of ancient artifacts including the well-known Dodwell Vasewith a representation of a boar-hunt; at his death the collection consisted of over 1000 pieces and even more mineral specimens; the collection of vases is now in the possession of the Munich Glyptothek

He died in Rome from the effects of an illness contracted in 1830 during a visit of exploration to the Sabine Mountains. His last work, "Views and Descriptions of Cyclopian or Pelasgic Remains in Italy and Greece", was published posthumously" in 1834.

" Dodwell and Pomardi, like many travellers, chose to go beyond the established Mediterranean regions of the Grand Tour. The understanding these travellers brought to the archaeological remains of ancient Greece encouraged the taste among British Hellenists for Greek architecture. This gave new vigour to the Greek Revival, already begun in the middle of the 18th century by the expeditions of the Society of Dilettanti. Hellenism, the love of ancient Greece, was to promote a new movement of Philhellenism, a sympathy for modern Greek people and a desire to realise the dream, as Byron put it, "that Greece might still be free."
[Catalogue British Museum "In Search of Classical Greece: Travel Drawings of Edward Dodwell And Simone Pomardi 1805-1806,"]

Simone Pomardi 1757-1830

Little is known of him — nothing between records of his birth in 1757 and his settling in an artists' neighbourhood in Rome in 1783, nothing of his training and the influences to which he may have been subject, and from a working life of more than half a century, fewer than 50 works independent of Dodwell are known, their subjects mostly the antiquities of Rome. He would publish his own work about the travel with Dodwell "Viaggio nella Grecia fatto negli anni 1804, 1805 e 1806"published in Rome in 1820 by Vincenzo Poggioli often using the same illustrations.
Atabey:357;Blackmer/Navari: 493; Abbey, Travel: 130; Colas 876; Weber I: 1110. 258 by 385mm (10¼ by 15¼ inches).   ref: 2582  €350

Company: Bryan, Mary Louise. Address: 6 Alikarnassou Street, 21100 Nafplion, Greece.
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