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Lot 11
Periclès Pantazis
(Greek, 1849/50-1884)
18 May 2010, 14:00 BST
London, New Bond Street

£15,000 - £20,000

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Periclès Pantazis (Greek, 1849/50-1884)

Le brise-lames
cachet (lower left)
oil on canvas
23 x 39.5cm


Collection Anna Boch, artist, painter
Room J. Fievez, second sale of the workshop Pantazis 1-12-1886, expert Arsene Janssens Gallery Roy, 6, rue du Hart, Brussels, sale of the workshop of Anna Boch, under the No 122
Private collection, Belgium

Paul COLIN, Belgian painting since 1830, pp.313-315
Het Landschap in de Belgische kunsten, Gent Museum voor schone kunsten, 4 oct. – 14 déc. 1980, pp.206, 207.
O. Mentzafou-Polyzou, S. Samaras, Pericles Pantazis, Evangelos Averoff-Tositsa Foundation, Athens 1994, no 56, p. 200 (referred)

This work was created in 1876. During the summer of this year, Pantazis in the company of his friend Guillaume Vogels discovered the North Sea. Ostend, with its fishing port filled with activities and its beaches extending as far as the eye can see, held their attention. This summer Ostend appears extraordinarily prolific for Pantazis. Encouraged by Vogels, the creative energy of the painter seems without limits and many canvases related to this period count among the principle works, not only by the artist but also of paintings in Belgium.
The sea does not have a narrative element, but its intrinsic beauty is the principal reason of works by Ostendaises. Pantazis in his Brise-lames, Ostende, adopts a framing very tightened by the sea. The artist paints the waves almost frontally, without outlining the shore. This method of painting is relatively new in this work. The utilisation of Brise-lames as an element, determines the composition. In effect, not only does it break the horizontality of the existing plain or foreground, but it suggests in a tangible fashion, the depth of work. While its composition of dark colours underlines by advantage the glare of the scum. No marine painter from the Belgian realistic school before Pantazis had exercised with such strength and harmony and theme of the Brise-lames and its meeting with the sea.

In this work, the boldness of the brush seems to compete with the powerful movement of the blades. The matter is spread out quickly, in the aid of the brush and knife. Pantazis outlines with firmness and boldness the contour of the clouds and the waves. Thus, it is at the same time a game of firmness and flexibility in which Pantazis fixes into the painting; the multiple combinations of white, blue, green and gray are hardly mixed on the pallet, hence evoking on the pictorial surface a feeling of sensuality and vibrancy which characterizes the majority of its coast. Such a painting built around the only precepts of materiality of harmony and luminosity, places Pantazis among the painters of modernity, as well as Ensor, Vogels, Billhook and Boudin.

In 1886, Le Brise-lames, was exposed at the second sale of the Pantazis workshop in the room J. Fievez in Brussels. At the time of this sale, the painting in question was bought by Anna Boch, painter, lover of the arts and member of the group of avant-garde the XX. Boch was among the largest defenders of the impressionists. She promoted in particular young artists, of which Vincent van Gogh, whom she admired for his talent and who was a friend of her brother Eugene Boch. She bought him the Red Vine 'La Vigne rouge', one of the only works that Van Gogh managed to sell during his life.

Saleroom notices

Literature: Constantin Ekonomidès, 'Des rencontres influentes, Périclès Pantazis in : Guillaume VOGELS (1836 - 1896)', édition, Bibliothèque de l'image, Paris, 2010 (ill.4). (To be published in May 2010).

Additional information