Yiannis Moralis (Greek, 1916-2009) Recollection 16 x 40 cm.
Lot 2AR
Yiannis Moralis
(Greek, 1916-2009)
Recollection 16 x 40 cm.
Sold for £22,500 (US$ 35,285) inc. premium

Lot Details
Yiannis Moralis (Greek, 1916-2009)
Recollection
signed in Greek and dated '23.6.67' (lower right); signed, dated and inscribed also on the reverse
egg tempera on paper
16 x 40 cm.

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Zoumboulakis Galleries, Athens.
    Private collection, Athens.

    LITERATURE:
    Sima magazine, no. 22, March 1979, p. 38 (illustrated).
    Yannis Moralis, Commercial Bank of Greece edition, Athens 1988, no. 149, p. 148 (illustrated).
    C. Christou, Moralis, Adam editions, Athens 1993, no. 88 (illustrated).

    Echoing the idealised forms on a classical Doric metope or an Ionian frieze, Recollection revives an archetypal universe, capturing in sustained intensity the timeless glory of Greece. The shallow compositional depth, reminiscent of sculptural relief, and the austerity of the horizontal and vertical lines set up a perfectly balanced geometric edifice from which the human form emerges. The symbolic figures of the two young women, the subtle use of colour and the well thought out spatial relationships, as well as the serene rhythm dictated by the classical sense for human scale, compose an evocative and poetic image imbued by the aesthetic values of ancient Greek art. Disciplined line and pure form support the picture's overall design, composing an intense yet harmonious whole and emphasising the work's innate coherence and organic rhythm. As noted by N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika, "Moralis's youthful females, closely attuned to the idealism of ancient Greek art, are lovable forms endowed with grace and tenderness, created by the Muses and the Hours."1

    The human figure and especially the female nude has always been a key subject in Moralis's art, tracing his stylistic development and revealing the wide range of his art historical and intellectual interests.2 Throughout the 1950s and 1960s his evocative female nudes were gradually stripped of descriptive detail and handled in a more abstractive fashion, without, however, losing their recognizable form. As Nobel laureate O. Elytis once said of Moralis, "by using a limited vocabulary of form, in which recurrent and opposing curves of ochre and black dominate, Moralis has succeeded -in a manner unprecedented in Greek art- to transform the language of the natural world into a purely optical phenomenon. Memories and encounters are repeatedly distilled until they blend into forms of great simplicity and precision.3

    1. N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika [in Greek], Nea Estia magazine, no. 1245, 15/5/1979.
    2. See D. Papastamos, Yannis Moralis the Artist in Yannis Moralis, Commercial Bank of Greece, Athens 1988, pp. 27, 28.
    3. O. Elytis, preface to the Moralis exhibition catalogue, Iolas-Zoumboulakis Galerie, Athens 1972.
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