Georgios (Gounaro) Gounaropoulos (Greek, 1889-1977) Ode to peace 138 x 170 cm.

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Lot 14AR
Georgios
(Gounaro) Gounaropoulos (Greek, 1889-1977)
Ode to peace 138 x 170 cm.

Sold for £ 69,700 (US$ 85,567) inc. premium
Georgios (Gounaro) Gounaropoulos (Greek, 1889-1977)
Ode to peace
signed in Greek (lower left)
oil on canvas
138 x 170 cm.

Footnotes

  • Painted c.1940.

    PROVENANCE:
    Given as a present by the artist to the father of the prsent owner during 1940-44.

    In this monumental oil Gounaropoulos represents Europe standing gracefully between the Athens Acropolis and Constantinople's Hagia Sophia as a personified extension of the classical and Byzantine eras receiving peace offerings from the Balkan states except defecting Bulgaria. Born in Sozopolis, the ancient Greek colony at the Bulgarian shores of the Black Sea, the artist favoured the enduring idea of Balkan unity first championed by Rigas Pheraios, the early leader of the Greek independence movement, in the late 1700s.

    In the 1930s, as the threat of European war escalated, Greece aimed to establish a Balkan self-defence front against potential foreign aggression and hoped to supplement bilateral treaties with a general Balkan pact. After many negotiations the pact was finally signed in February 1934, though by then Bulgaria had dropped out of the alliance refusing to ratify the borders established by post-WWI peace treaties and insisting on revisions encouraged by Italy and Germany, which were fast becoming the chief aggressors in Europe. Although the Balkan pact proved ineffective at the outbreak of WWII, it stands to Greece's credit that it was largely due to its initiatives that a genuine effort was made to diminish the traditional rivalries and mutual antagonisms among the Balkan states.1

    1. See R. Clogg, A Short History of Modern Greece, Cambridge University Press, New York 1980, p. 127 ; Greece in Transition, Zeno editions, London 1977, p. 122.
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