Côtes de Phaliron signed in Greek (lower right) oil on cardboard 29 x 46.5 cm. (11 3/8 x 18 1/4 in.)
Provenance: Private collection, Athens
Maleas attentively studied the defining features of the Greek landscape and arrived at some very advanced pictorial formulations, often ranking among eminent European landscapists. In Phaleron Coast his bold use of flat areas of undifferentiated colour, sharp outlines, ease of design and daring juxtapositions of light and dark tonalities, result into an honest depiction of the Attic shoreline, which is surrendered to the truth of vision. The painter conveys his emotional response to the landscape without resorting to the exotic or the picturesque, relying instead on purely painterly means. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this work is that an austere stretch of land is transformed into a powerful visual language of undulating volumes. (Compare Delphi in the Athens National Gallery, Nile in the Municipal Gallery of Larissa and The Sources of the Nile, private collection)1. This painting, which may have been included in his Attic Seashore series, along with Phaleron Rocks and Phaleron Heat, shown at the Zappeion Hall in March 1920, clearly indicates that Maleas architectural studies helped him understand the teachings of Cezanne, who exhorted painters to treat nature in terms of simple geometric shapes and volumes.
1. Illustrated in A. Kotidis, Constantinos Maleas [in Greek], Athens 2000, pp. 196, 200, 202