GEORGIOS DRAKOU PAPADIMITRIOU Eleftherios Venizelos: The Giant 1922 Athens - x +

CN: DrPa1922gian

MT: color lithograph on paper, glazed in gilt wooden frame (65x47 / F:90x71x2)

TX: printed at upper center of picture in Greek <14 SEPTEMBER 1922>, below inside border <Battleship "Lemnos", 14-9-1922. / Mr Eleftherios Venizelos Paris / The Revolution expresses to you its absolute confidence in the proceedings / of the National movement abroad and calls for our aid. / The Revolutionary Committee: Colonels: Gonatas, Plastiras, e.t.c.>, below center of margin <THE GIANT>, at right <PUBLISHER GEORGIOS DRAKOU PAPADIMITRIOU / PRAXITELOUS 46, ATHENS>

CM: Georgios Drakou Papadimitriou fought in the Asia Minor campaign (1919-1922) and upon his return produced posters presenting the portraits first of Nicholas Plastiras and then of Eleftherios Venizelos. It should be noted that Drakou Papadimitriou was the worthy successor of the first publisher to release posters in Greece. It was these posters, which he sold on the street, that enabled him by the time he was twenty-five years old to set up a business, initially at 46 Praxitelous Street and later at 16 Dorou Street.

Drakou Papadimitriou's 1922 poster entitled The Giant refers to Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936) and commemorates the historic moment of political change in modern Greece, in which he succeeded to power King Constantine I (1868-1923). After the final collapse of the Greek front in Asia Minor in August 1922 and the occupation of Smyrna by the Turks (9 September), a revolutionary movement emerged headed by liberal officer Nicholas Prastiras (11 September), which was made official on 14 September upon the resignation of the King. The liberal politician Venizelos was summoned from his exile in Paris to take over the government of Greece. This propaganda poster cites Venizelos as 'The Giant' with a view to prepare his return to an exhausted country. As if there had been no evidence of the recent dramatic defeat of Greece, the oval portrait in profile of Venizelos occupies the center of the picture, crowned by the double-headed eagle - of which one head looks west to Athens and the other east to Constantinople - in between two laurel-wreathed columns, with the personification of victory in the foreground keeping the flame of hope on her torch alight. The headline '14 September 1922', before the background of a rising sun, coincides with the date on which the defeated people of Greece are called to hopes anew the gigantic growth of Hellenism.

[Megakles 09/2004]