Polychronis Lembessis (Greek, 1849-1913) Portrait of a boy 65 x 49 cm.

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Lot 23
Polychronis Lembessis
(Greek, 1849-1913)
Portrait of a boy 65 x 49 cm.

£ 25,000 - 35,000
US$ 35,000 - 49,000
Polychronis Lembessis (Greek, 1849-1913)
Portrait of a boy
signed in Greek (lower left)
oil on canvas
65 x 49 cm.

Footnotes

  • “A vigorous craftsman condemned to poverty and obscurity during his lifetime, Polychronis Lembessis is today considered one of the most significant Greek painters of his time.”1 His quality as an artist is apparent particularly in his portraits, where he succeeded with skill and psychological insight in rendering his subject’s personality.2 As noted by Dr. A. Charalambidis who specialises in portraiture, “Lembessis was one of the most accomplished portraitists of the Munich School. His works are undoubtedly at the forefront of Modern Greek portraiture, rightfully ranking him among the leading exponents of the Munich School and followers of the great 17th century Dutch masters.”3

    In Portrait of a boy, the young sitter with the insistent gaze, seriousness and evident self-assurance has a dominant presence without relinquishing his youthful freshness or the energy stalking behind a seemingly cool expression. The broad collar captured in dazzling white - symbol of childhood innocence - illuminates his beautiful, tight-lipped face, enlivening the picture and investing it with subtle psychological undercurrents.

    1. E. Frantziskakis, Greek Painters of the Nineteenth Century, Commercial Bank of Greece ed., Athens 1957, p.23.
    2. A. Ioannou, Greek Painting, the 19th Century, Melissa publ., Athens 1974, p. 128.
    3. A. Charalambidis, Greek Portraiture of the Nineteenth Century [in Greek], doctoral dissertation, Thessaloniki 1976, pp. 91, 95-96.
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