In his two-volume travel chronicle, Italian painter Simone Pomardi (1760-1830) describes his journey to Greece together with British archaeologist E. Dodwell in 1805-1806. The two probably met in Rome in 1804. Dodwell engaged him as artist for his tour of Greece, and Pomardi made 600 drawings and composed the account of the journey. Dodwell often speaks of his companion’s ability as a draftsman and praises him as an observant, diligent and talented artist.
Unlike his employer, Pomardi was not an erudite scholar. Even so, he wrote a clear and concise account that focuses on the current situation of each region, touching on subjects such as the customs of the Muslims, the quality of the lodgings, and so on, while making references to history and mythology, but without citing sources. It is certain that Pomardi made many of his drawings following Dodwell’s indications. Indeed, many of their drawings look identical, even in their viewpoint. In the end, however, Pomardi’s works are distinguished by their clarity, consistency and a special painterly quality.
In his chronicle, Pomardi describes how he and Dodwell travelled from Rome to Sicily and then to Zacynthos, Missolonghi, Patras, Naupactus, Galaxidi, Amphissa, Delphi and Boeotia. He also relates their stay in Athens. Pomardi continued on to Phthiotis, Thessaly, Magnesia, Phocis, Boeotia, Euboea, the Argolid and Corinth. He was the first to draw landscapes of these regions (Pleuron, Thisbe, Lamia, etc.). At the end of his journey Pomardi fell ill and was obliged to sail to Zacynthos, eventually returning to Italy by way of Ithaca, Leucas and Corfu.
Written by Ioli Vingopoulou
POMARDI, Simone - Tempi
Inscription etched on the rock at the Vale of Tempi, first century BCE: “L. CASSIUS LONGINUS PROCONS TEMPE MUNIVIT” that is, proconsul L. Cassius Longinus built a road or fortifications at Tempi. The rock bearing the inscription was destroyed during the construction of the national highway in 1959.