Periclès Pantazis (Greek, 1849/50-1884) Paysage avec une riviére 50 x 39 cm.

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Lot 6
Periclès Pantazis
(Greek, 1849/50-1884)
Paysage avec une riviére 50 x 39 cm.

Sold for £ 24,000 (US$ 29,911) inc. premium
Periclès Pantazis (Greek, 1849/50-1884)
Paysage avec une riviére
signed 'Pantazis' (lower right)
oil on canvas
50 x 39 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Private collection, Brussels.

    Exhibited:
    Brussels, Exposition Individuelle au Cercle Artistique et Litteraire, 1878, under the title 'Paysage, riviére'.

    Painted c. 1876.

    Paysage avec riviére shows us a part of La Meuse peacefully crossing the village of Anseremme. The painting dates from 1876 during the time when the European avant-garde artists really started to paint sur le motif.
    Anseremme in Belgium is the equivalent of France’s Argenteuil, where Monet, Caillebotte and Manet -who even built a studio-boat to capture the site in all its splendour, started what some art historians call ‘the golden age of impressionist painting.’ Anseremme is also considered the birthplace of Belgian impressionism. In Paysage avec riviere, Pantazis adopts a view from inside the river and, contrary to Monet, uses floating brushes to create the necessary depth.
    Paysage avec riviere with Rue d’Anseremme and Rue sous la neige, Anseremme of the Averoff-Tositsa collection, represent three master pieces that Pantazis created at that picturesque place, which is full of charm and poetry. As noted by O. Mentzafou-Polyzou, curator of the National Gallery of Athens, ‘such pieces define the artist’s new vision of nature. In these landscapes, what matters most is to make the forests dense and the hills green, the atmosphere humid flowing in the paths and among the trees, and the games of light adapted to reflect the lyrical melancholy of the North.’
    Pantazis placed a lot of importance on this painting. It is not by chance that Paysage avec riviere was the third of the fifteen paintings chosen by Pantazis to be included in his one man show at the Cercle artistique et littéraire de Brussels. A solo exhibition of a living artist was very rare at the time, with only Courbet and Rodin having the privilege. It is after this exhibition that his work was noticed by the most important art critics and soon Pantazis became internationally renowned. Paul Lefort from la ‘Gazette des Beaux-Arts,’ which was edited in Paris, placed Pantazis in the tradition of impressionist painters: ‘Mr. Pantazis, who lives in Belgium and sometimes exhibits in Paris, follows the dear tradition of our impressionists.’ It is the first time that a Greek painter is mentioned in relation to impressionism. Reviewing the same exhibition, J. K. Huysmans, an art critic known for his acute judgement and, along with Zola, a great defender of impressionist painters, made a similar remark: ‘Mr. Pantazis should rank among the French impressionists. He is an audacious and sincere painter, a researcher…’
    In Anseremme, Pantazis often set his easel in front of the same subjects as Vogels and Hagemans. This friendly trio, who blew everyone away at the opening of ‘La Chrysalide’ exhibition in 1876, were old members of the ‘Cercle de la Patte’ and mutually influenced each other, sharing a quest for light and love, for landscape and a very similar technique. In Paysage avec riviere, Pantazis submitted the entire painting to the expressiveness of grey. The subtle variations of dark red and green tones underline this objective. The rich and varied character Pantazis gives to the seemingly monochromatic shades is specific to him. This piece marks an important moment in the artist’s evolution. The director of the National Gallery in Athens, underlines the modernity of the Greek artist: ‘In the case of Pericles Pantazis, talent, audacity and particular circumstances converge to reveal a personal style, rich and audacious, which succeeded in leaving a mark on the history of art in both Greece and Belgium.’
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