LITERATURE: E. Florou, Tsarouchis - Painting, (doctoral dissertation) vol. 1, Athens 1989, no. 447, p. 238. E. Florou, Yannis Tsarouchis, his Painting and his Era, Nea Synora-A.A. Livanis editions, Athens 1989, no. 530, p. 272.
Featured prominently above Tsarouchis's bed in a famous 1961 photograph of the artist in his home studio by American photographer Slim Aarons, this bust-length portrait of a young Greek male epitomizes the artist's signature subject. Distilled with marvellous restraint, the sitter gazes outwards in intense scrutiny, while the slightly low vantage point lends a sense of lofty stature. Impeccably painted in earthy colours highlighted by solid outlines and confident brushwork, the work conveys a striking immediacy and resilient allure, distantly echoing some of Gysis's psychologically acute portraits (compare Farmer from Tinos, Bonhams Greek Sale, 13.12.2005, lot 43) and impelling the viewer to scratch beyond the veneer to seek the inner world of the young Greek. As noted by D. Kapetanakis, "Tsarouchis managed, with the wisdom of his art, to elevate a model posing in his studio into a symbol of the Modern Greek spirit."1 The honesty of representation, genuineness of character and purity of form give this portrait its power and directness, while a tiny fragment of a cane chair on the lower left provides a discreet decorative appeal that unifies the composition into a captivating and convincing work of art.
1. D. Kapetanakis, Yiannis Tsarouchis, Return to Roots, Nea Grammata magazine, 1937 as reprinted in Tsarouchis [in Greek], Zygos, Athens 1978, pp. 7-8.