The cave of Vouliagmeni signed in Greek (lower right) oil on canvas 30 x 40 cm.
PROVENANCE: Bonhams, Greek Sale, London, 23 May 2006, Lot 84. Private collection, London.
LITERATURE: Filologiki Protochronia 1968 (illustrated on the inside cover).
In this precious and captivating work, Constantinos Parthenis, a towering figure of 20th century Greek art and a great reformer, showcases a highly personal idiom and a bold artistic freedom that shaped a paradigm for the younger generations and laid the foundations for the self-determination of modern Greek painting. Besides endeavouring to realize the visions of the Great Idea in works of lofty national exaltation, Parthenis was also a master landscapist, capturing the power, brilliance and variable pulse of the Attic land. Distinguished by its plastic qualities and colour juxtapositions, and suffused with an eternal, authentically Greek light, his Cave of Vouliagmeni transcends the fleeting sensations of the impressionist glance and remould the luminous landscape by means of pure colour's suggestive force. His perceptive handling of the natural environment, combined with a poetic interpretation of visual reality come together in a work of great artistic sensitivity, reminiscent of his own teachings: "Light equals colour. It is light that gives birth to form."