Miltiadis Thon (Greek 1875-1945) An album with views of Greece 52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the

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Lot 19
Miltiadis Thon
(Greek 1875-1945)
An album with views of Greece 52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the size of each page (135)

Sold for £ 29,875 (US$ 39,765) inc. premium

Greek Sale

16 Dec 2003, 14:00 GMT

London, New Bond Street

Miltiadis Thon (Greek 1875-1945)
An album with views of Greece
An album with 135 watercolours with various depictions of landscapes and seascapes of Greece; 15 of them signed; dated from 1895 to 1937
74 pages bound by the artist himself,
52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the size of each page
(135)

Footnotes

  • A descendant of the wealthy and socially prominent Thon family - Karl Christian Friedrich Thon, a Bavarian, settled in Athens in 1833 when he arrived as a member of the court of King Otto; his son Nicholas Thon was in the court of King George I and was a member of the Olympic Games Committee and had his portrait painted twice by the renowned Giorgios Jakobides.

    Miltiadis Thon developed an interest in art at an early age. He studied with Nicholaos Gysis in Munich, where he remained until 1906, when he left for Italy before finally settling in Greece.

    This extraordinary album of watercolours, bound in leather and velvet by Thon himself, has been in the artist’s family since his death. A highly personal and unique “picture gallery”, the collection consists of tranquil depictions of the natural environment of rural Greece and the outskirts of Athens, colourful images of the ancient monuments of Athens such as the Thisseion and the Lysicrates Monument, seascapes, views of Constantinople as well as vivid naval scenes depicting the Greek warship “Averoff”. The works were executed between 1895 and 1937.
    That the artist considered this an important body of work is reflected in the fact that he collected his watercolours in a handmade album and also took immense care in bordering each watercolour with a frame – not unlike Art Nouveau artists who devoted as much attention to their depictions as they did to the decorative frames and the printed word in their illustrated books. Some frames are simple and obviously the artist did not want to detract attention from the subject depicted. Other frames are more elaborate and are directly related to the subject matter, such as the depiction of the Thisseion, which is flanked on each side by amphoras resting on Corinthian capitals. Naval scenes are often bordered by a frame with marine motifs.
    Aside from their aesthetic appeal – the delicate washes of muted hues and the harmonious compositions – the works have a historical dimension as they bring to life rural unspoiled areas. Important also is the depiction of the battleship “Averoff”, the historic flagship of the Balkan Wars (1912-13), which is also pictured in one work with aeroplanes flying overhead.
    At the same time, the images are very personal for they represent lived experiences – the artist’s black car figures prominently in many of the works. A unique panorama of impressions, the watercolours capture a world in transition during the first four decades of the 20th Century.
Miltiadis Thon (Greek 1875-1945) An album with views of Greece 52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the
Miltiadis Thon (Greek 1875-1945) An album with views of Greece 52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the
Miltiadis Thon (Greek 1875-1945) An album with views of Greece 52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the
Miltiadis Thon (Greek 1875-1945) An album with views of Greece 52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the
Miltiadis Thon (Greek 1875-1945) An album with views of Greece 52 x 31 cm. (20 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.) the
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