View of Galatsi signed in Greek (lower right) oil on panel 60 x 74.5 cm.
Painted in 1930.
A rare specimen of Vassiliou's early 1930s output,1 Galatsi is a captivating rendition of Attica's age-old landscape and modern cityscape remoulded with lyrical realism to formulate a loving approach to both the temporal and the eternal. Often dubbed the quintessential painter of Athens, Vassiliou is not interested in depicting the scene's picturesque elements or familiar landmarks but in capturing its inner rhythm, seeking not only to identify its unique character but also to interpret its very soul in the vein of his teacher Nikolaos Lytras (compare N. Lytras, From Galatsi, Bonhams Greek Sale 19/05/2009, lot 32.) Relying on a limited palette, energetic brushwork and volumetric handling of form, the artist, one of the most inspired exponents of the legendary 1930s generation, merges Attica's austere terrain, rolling hills and sprawling urban environment into a compelling whole enlivened by a wonderful pair of horses in the foreground that recalls De Chirico's Cavalli Antichi.
1. Works from the artist's 1925-1935 period are extremely hard to find and feverishly sought after by discerning collectors. In Vassiliou's 1975 major retrospective at the Athens National Gallery this period was represented by only nine paintings, which adorned some of the most prominent private collections of the time. One of these works, depicting the same scene as this lot (Galatsi, 1930), was auctioned in 1996, triggering furious competition among bidders before finally being hammered to the National Gallery of Athens (no 9042, illustrated in National Gallery, 100 Years, Athens 1999, p. 484).