THE QUEST FOR 'GREEKNESS'
Rich Diversity of Greek Art at Bonhams


The Greek Sale
2 May 2018
London, New Bond Street

Bonhams Greek sale in London on Wednesday 2 May highlights on the rich diversity of the nation's art from the serenity of the 19th century, through the revolutionary impetus of the famous '30s Generation, to the vibrancy of contemporary figures such as Christos Bokoros.

Bonhams Greek Art specialist, Anastasia Orfanidou said: "The history of Greek painting over the past 200 years has been characterised by the quest for Greekness. As the wide range of works in our sale demonstrates different generations of Greek artists have sought and found their own distinctive way of capturing the nation's identity and soul."

Among the most important pieces are:

Young Man from Piraeus an early work by one of the major figures of the '30s generation of artists, Yiannis Tsarouchis (1910-1989). Painted in 1939, it explores the idea of Greekness through one of Tsarouchis' signature male subjects, a working class young man from the artist's native port town of Piraeus. He is seen holding a komboloi (worry beads) and a cigarette in an instantly recognisable traditional coffee-shop setting featuring the ubiquitous three-legged metal table and wooden chair. The work was acquired direct from the artist and has been in private hands ever since. Fresh to the market, it is estimated at £50,000-70,000.

Pulling in the Catch by Constantinos Volanakis (1837-1907) is a virtuoso work from the master seascape painter. Executed with great spontaneity, the painting demonstrates the artist's sense of space, remarkable precision of detail, harmony of proportion and unity of effect which come together to create a moving composition of austere beauty. The work, which was painted in 1869, is estimated at £40,000-60,000.

Erotokritos and Aretoussa by Theofilos Hadjimichael (1871-1934). Estimated at £30,000-50,000, the painting, from 1930, is based on Erotokritos, the celebrated Cretan poetic masterpiece written in 1640. It tells of the love between the eponymous hero and his lover Aretoussa, daughter of the Athenian King. Although Theofolis took some liberties with the story and the setting, the 1930 painting is imbued with a profoundly Greek atmosphere fitting for a hero who ranks alongside Alexander the Great as a symbol of Hellenism.

Olive Tree - Candle by the master of tromp l'oeil, Christos Bokoros (born 1956), is a poignant message of hope and spiritual rebirth. It marries the image of the candle flame - a sacred symbol of hope and remembrance - with the dark silhouette of the olive tree, which has nourished people's lives across the Mediterranean for thousands of years. The work has an estimate of £18,000 - £28,000.


NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.

Contacts
  1. Lucinda Bredin
    Press
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8363
  2. Anastasia Orfanidou
    Specialist
    Bonhams
    Work
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8356

Related auctions