Mother and child oil on canvas laid down on cardboard 31.5 x 21.5 cm.
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Germany.
LITERATURE: Nelli Missirli, Gysis, Adam Publications, Athens 1996, p. 163, no 109 (illustrated).
Given a full page spread in Dr. Nelli Misirli's seminal monograph on Gysis -a clear indication of the merit the author attached to it, this precious gem shows both Gysis' amazing skill in the freer handling of form and his deep reverence for family and motherhood. Their faces almost touching, the two siblings, the lapped infant and the standing brother, cling in a tender embrace, while their mother oversees the scene with an expression of loving care.
The splash of brilliant white in the centre of the painting establishes a certain rhythm, drawing the eye from one figure to the other and from animated greens and blues to rich browns and transparent reds, building up a vibrant composition that brims over with a joyful mood. The generalised rendering, diffused outlines and elimination of detail point to the artist's concern with the relationships between the figures, his venture beyond the circumstantial and the anecdotal to capture the very idea of motherhood as an eternal source of life.