Hunting scene oil on canvas 59 x 69 cm. (23 1/4 x 28 in.)
Provenance: Ch. Marinos collection, Napi of Lesvos. Private collection, Athens.
Literature: Theofilos, Edition of the Commercial Bank of Greece, Athens 1967, no 120 (illustrated).
In this animated hunting scene, where shots seem to have just been fired, frightening ducks and deer alike and sending them off in flight, Theofilos has captured the excitement inherent in the chase. As a visual storyteller, the self-taught Theofilos drew his subject matter from various sources, including popular prints and postcards. Hunting scenes generally belong to the repertoire of an Anglo-Saxon tradition and it is possible that the source for this work was a popular lithograph. However, the artist makes it a part of the Greek landscape by including a typical village with red tile roofs on a distant hilltop and a road just below, travelled by a donkey and his master.
Landscapes were among the artists favourite subjects, always serving as a backdrop for human activity. His compositions are heavily linear, with every object clearly defined, and a sense of perspective that belongs to the representational tradition of folk art.
Working in isolation from the contemporary currents of his day, Theofilos proved to be a source of inspiration for the subsequent generation of Greek artists of the 1930s and 1940s. In his work they discovered an intuitive expression of a Greek identity untainted by Eurocentric styles and techniques.