Periclès Pantazis (Greek, 1849/50-1884) Coin de Méditerrannée 71.5 x 113 cm.

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Lot 41
Periclès Pantazis
(Greek, 1849/50-1884)
Coin de Méditerrannée 71.5 x 113 cm.

Sold for £ 264,000 (US$ 340,062) inc. premium
Periclès Pantazis (Greek, 1849/50-1884)
Coin de Méditerrannée
signed 'Pantazis' (lower left), bears studio stamp (lower left)
oil on canvas
71.5 x 113 cm.

Footnotes

  • This museum-quality work is an important rediscovery, its appearance at Bonhams marking the first time that it is seen in public in over 120 years. Remaining at the artist's workshop until his premature death in 1884, it was sold, along with 52 oils and sketches, in a posthumous auction held by his life companion Eugénie Philipette at the Sainte-Gudule hall in Brussels on May 15, 1885. Ever since it never changed hands. On the reverse, the painting bears a small round red mark reading 'Vente Pantazis 1885', a conclusive piece of evidence attesting to the authenticity of the work. 1

    This striking oil is at the centre of Pantazis's artistic achievement, confirming his position as one of the great masters of Greek landscape painting. Restless and receptive to new ideas, the artist departs from the sombre palette dictated by the strict tenets of institutionalised realism and ventures into a skilful handling of light contrasts and luminous atmospheric effects, capturing the vibrancy, freedom and expressive power of the untamed sea. "Pantazis's artistic vision is best reflected in his seascapes, a subject more suitable to his new enquiries in light and colour." 2

    With its harmonious display of sensitive colouring, spontaneity and ease of design, dynamic brushwork and palette-knife strokes, and deep sense for space and compositional structure, Un coin de la Méditeranée stands as a singularly inspiring seascape that speaks of the promise and bright prospects of this amazing artist. Unfortunately, his death at the age of thirty five deprived the younger generations of Greek artists of a chance to get acquainted at an early stage with innovative trends emerging in Europe. Had he returned to Greece, his genius would have been "a decisive influence on the development of modern Greek painting." 3

    Today, Pantazis ranks among the eminent European impressionists, and the Belgians, who claim him as one of their own, rightfully consider him one of the founding fathers of the 19th century Flemish school, along such figures as Guillaume Vogels and James Ensor. 4

    1. See S. Samaras in Pericles Pantazis 1849-1884 [in Greek], Athens 1994, p. 193.
    2. G. Drakopoulou in Pericles Pantazis in the Context of 19th Century Belgian Painting (dissertation thesis) [in Greek], Athens 1982, p. 101.
    3. E. Frantziskakis, Greek Painters of the Nineteenth Century [in Greek], Commercial Bank of Greece, Athens 1957, p. 22.
    4. See F. Maret, Les Peintres Luministes, Cercle d'Art publ., Brussels 1994, p. 9.

Saleroom notices

  • Painted c. 1881 Provenance: 1er Vente de l'atelier Pantazis, salle Sainte-Gudule, Expert Janssens, 12 mai 1885, Bruxelles. Jean Renard collection. Private collection, Brussels. Exposition: 1882, 15 Avril-15 Mai: 10e Exposition du Cercle Artistique et Litteraire de Bruxelles.
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25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £2,500 up to and including £300,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £300,000 up to and including £3,000,000;
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