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Solomos Museum, Zante
I came out of the Solomos museum sobered.
Through my trip to Zante, I’ve been doing cute acerbic asides about the museum name (Solomos and Illustrious Zacynthians), and about how much I dislike the poetry of Kalvos. I’m going to ease up on that. There is a tragedy to Kalvos’ life that deserves a bit more respect than that, even if I don’t like his poetry. And the tragedy of the earthquake does weigh over this museum too.
In any case, the museum is mostly a jumble of portraits, not all of them contemporary, with a few personal effects and books. Almost nothing in the way of explanation or contextualisation. But from the sheer numbers of portraits you do get a sense that there was a substantial intellectual life to Zante in the 19th century.
As given away by the few theatre bills from the 19th century. On the more popular edge of that intellectual life, this is an ad for a performance of The dinner of the great serpent in 1832. Stage design by Giuseppe Bini of Vienna, as performed in Germany, Russia, Constantinople, and before his majesty the Sultan. Also featuring 100 mechanical games on copper wire. (Electricity had just been invented, I guess.)