Constantinos Maleas (Greek, 1879-1928) View of the Acropolis 50 x 69 cm.
Lot 22
Constantinos Maleas
(Greek, 1879-1928)
View of the Acropolis 50 x 69 cm.
£50,000 - 70,000
US$ 83,000 - 120,000
Auction Details
Lot Details
Constantinos Maleas (Greek, 1879-1928)
View of the Acropolis
signed in Greek (lower left)
oil on cardboard
50 x 69 cm.

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    George Tsakiroglou collection, Athens, and thence by descent to the previous owner.
    Bonhams Greek Sale of 11/05/2004, lot 75.
    Acquired from the above sale by the present owner.

    A truly magnificent work uniting reason's rule and ordered thought with the exuberance and zest of Attica's nature, Maleas' Acropolis is an initiation to the world of ideal rhythms where form and spirit reclaim their long-fragmented wholeness. Demonstrating an ingenious fusion of inner discipline and outer freedom, this verse of lyric poetry submits to the force of a timeless canon, capturing the grandeur and aura of the classical monument not as a lifeless relic of ancient glory but as a form of eternity constantly reborn in the present.1

    For Maleas this challenging quest was launched while setting his easel and standing defiantly before the mighty Acropolis. His interest in the sacred rock was renewed following his return to Athens in 1917, which gave him the opportunity to concentrate on the subject, something he couldn't do during his brief visits in the past when he lived in Thessaloniki.

    Although Maleas painted what was in front of him with complete directness, he did so with deep understanding of the landscape as a complex entity. Impressionism taught him that nature was first and foremost the touchstone against which one measured art. He sought an underlying structure for his studies in color, paint and light, a kind of sturdy pictorial scaffolding that would allow him to convey a sense of endurance and permanence akin to the atmosphere emanating from the awesome site.

    Bathed in the eternal Greek light, the Acropolis of Athens remains a cultural ideal and an everlasting icon of artistic excellence. It is not only an outstanding creation but also a model of perfection, a kind of absolute canon for the evaluation of all achievements.1 The monuments on the sacred rock have always had the power to inspire wonder and stir the heart, showing the world how true and alive balanced thought can be. "Nowhere and at no time has art achieved such perfect harmony with nature as in this imposing and sublime monument. The Acropolis of Athens is the noblest altar that human genius ever erected to Beauty.2

    .1 S. Kondaratos, The Parthenon as Cultural Ideal, Ithaca journal, no 20, November 2002, p. 10
    .2 A. Philadelpeus, Monuments of Athens, History and Art Editions, Athens 1995, p. 45.
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