PERILLA, Francesco. Chio, l’Ile heureuse Ses Légendes, son Histoire, ses Tragédies, ses Beautés naturelles, ses Moeurs, ses Richesses. Aquarelles, Dessins, Photographies de l’auteur, Athens [Paris, A. Lahure], 1928.
Little is known about the life of Francesco Perilla except that he was Italian, born in 1874, and that he spent several years in Athens. Around 1930 he published there books based mainly on his paintings of various places in Greece (Mystras, the Cyclades, Chios, the Peloponnese, Pelion, Mount Athos, Athens, Attica, etc.). All his works are illustrated with images in numerous techniques, photographs, sketches, pastels, etc. Thanks to the spontaneity of his amateur snapshots, the innovative aesthetics and modernist notions of beauty, Perilla’s depictions of historical monuments are consistent with the artistic trends of the time.
The present edition is illustrated with wood engravings and reproductions of watercolours. In his introduction the author dedicates the book to G. Horemis, L. Kalvocoressis and N. Paspatis. From the bibliography cited, it is evident that Perilla consulted the most important books by travellers and scholars of Greece, from the sixteenth to the twentieth century. (P. Belon, A. Thevet, N. de Nicolay, J. Thevenot, O. Dapper, J. Pitton de Tournefort, M.G.F.A. Choiseul-Gouffier, R. Chandler, F.R. de Chateaubriand, V. Hugo, P.L. Lacroix, H.F. Tozer, G. Deschamps, H. Pernot, C. Diehl and others).
Throughout the book, Perilla presents an overview of the most important historical moments of the island, as well as its legends, traditions, tragic events and natural beauties. His itinerary, as recorded in the text, took him to most of the villages and sights on Chios (Chora, Cambos, Pyrgi, Sklavia, Mesta, Amades, Anavatos, Cardamyla, Nea Moni.)
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou