The first view of Nema is found in one of the most important travel chronicles of the pre-revolutionary era, that of far-travelled mimeralogist Ed.D. Clarke who notes in his text that only three columns were left from the magnificent ancient structures, two of which supported the epistylium. The engraving in Clarke’s edition was the only one to highlight the vigorous simplicity of the Doric columns, until the recent restorations. It was extensively copied and inspired later depictions.
In the early 19th century, W. Gell (1810) realized one of the first systematic archaeological explorations in the locations described in Pausanias' text and was able to identify several Mycenaean sites (1810).
F.C.H.L. Pouqueville’s edition of 1835 (Pouqueville is also the author of one of the most systematic texts on geomorphology of continental Greece) borrows engravings of Nemea and other places from popular and significant earlier editions; consequently, the views of Nemea come from Stackelberg's work.
The observations made by the members of the Section of Architecture and Sculpture of the French Scientific Mision under G. A. Blouet are accompanied by drawings of excellent technique and high artistic quality. The conclusions of their research and the related graphic material, released in three monumental volumes (1831, 1833, 1838), contributed greatly to the perception of the monuments and constituted a work of reference for all subsequent studies.
Shortly after the Greek War of Independence (1829) H.W. Williams highlights the strength of the Doric columns as they rise in the silent landscape, while the two views by O.M. von Stackelberg show the simplicity and serenity of the space and ruins. The same views, executed in slightly different artistic style illustrate Ch. Wordsworth’s work, published shortly after the foundation of the Greek State. In 1843 Th. Du Moncel adds to his drawing human figures, making thus the already familiar landscape more picturesque. Towards the end of the 19th century the technique of wood engraving makes a comeback (R.R. Farrer). During the same period, in A. Schweiger Lerchenfeld’s edition the standing ruins are detached from the calm surrounding valley and the Doric columns dominate now the entire picture. The artistic magazines of the 19th century published plates with views of significant monuments of the East, accompanied by thorough explanatory texts. They sold well, and aimed both at entertaining and educating the public (M. Busch, 1869).
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou