Giuseppe Gerola (1877 - 1938): a promising researcher in Crete

Italian art historian and archaeologist. With a solid historical-philological background education and an interest in art history and architecture, Giuseppe Gerola is selected in 1899 by his compatriot Federico Halbherr, an archaeologist specialising in Classical archaeology, to record the architectural and artistic remains of the Venetian rule period on the island of Crete on a mission for the Institute of Sciences, Letters, and Arts of Veneto. Within two and a half years (early 1900 - July 1902), Gerola gathered a vast amount of material, which he later published over a period of almost thirty years (between 1905 and 1932) in four massive volumes, earning him in 1933 the Mussolini Prize from the Accademia d'Italia.

In December 1901, he visits the provinces of Merampello and Spinalonga, recording and photographing the fortress. His testimony is invaluable, as a few years later, the operation of the Leper Colony brought changes to the monumental and building reserve of the island.


©Vikelaia Municipal Library of Heraklion, Archives Department, G. Gerola Collection