Yiannis Tsarouchis (Greek, 1910-1989) Dionysos in Euripides' The Bacchae 73 x 100 cm.

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 53AR
Yiannis Tsarouchis
(Greek, 1910-1989)
Dionysos in Euripides' The Bacchae 73 x 100 cm.

Sold for £ 110,500 (US$ 136,607) inc. premium
Yiannis Tsarouchis (Greek, 1910-1989)
Dionysos in Euripides' The Bacchae
signed in Greek and dated '73' (lower left)
oil on canvas
73 x 100 cm.

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Private collection, Athens.

    LITERATURE:
    The Greek Painters, vol. 2, 20th Century, Melissa editions, Athens 1975, no. 31, p. 289 (referred), p. 320 (illustrated).
    Theophilos, Kontoglou, Ghika, Tsarouchis, Four Painters of 20th Century Greece, exhibition catalogue, Wildenstein, London 1975, fig. 32, p. 38 (illustrated).
    N. Hadjinicolaou, National Art and the Avant-Garde, Ochima editions, Athens 1982, no. 40 (illustrated).
    E. Florou, Tsarouchis-Painting, (doctoral dissertation), Athens 1989, no. 856, vol. 1, pp. 155-156 (discussed), p. 266 (listed), vol. 2 (illustrated).
    Yannis Tsarouchis (1910-1989) Painting, Yannis Tsarouchis Foundation, Athens 1990, no. 467 (illustrated).
    Y. Tsarouchis, Comments on the Works Included in the Yannis Tsarouchis (1910-1989) Painting, Yannis Tsarouchis Foundation, 1990, no. 467, p. xii (referred).
    E. Florou, Yannis Tsarouchis: His Painting and his Era, Nea Synora-Livanis editions, Athens 1999, no. 193, p. 285 (listed), pp. 200-202 (discussed), p. 200 (illustrated).

    This work of mine was inspired by the last scene of The Bacchae by Euripides. Agave listens to the revengeful words of Dionysus. On the right there is Semele's tomb, with smoke always rising above it. On the left side is the Palace of Cadmus."1

    A fascinating work, The Bacchae2 is discussed at length by Professor N. Hadjinicolaou in his introduction to the catalogue of the important 1975 London exhibition entitled Theophilos, Kontoglou, Ghika, Tsarouchis, Four Painters of 20th Century Greece. "From the end of the fifties Tsarouchis progressively left behind him the world he had created since the mid-thirties. It is possible to say that he relished so intensely the visual presence of objects that he drained his skill in concentrating upon this preciosity of their existence. Yet even exceptions to this exist where the subject is not devoured by details acquiring an independent life, as we can see for example in his scenic-like composition The Bacchae painted in 1973. He chose the moment when Dionysus appearing in the sky orders King Pentheus and all those who have denied his divinity to be punished. To the right, in front of a wall, two women and a man in military uniform, probably the future victims of Dionysus' wrath, stand spell-bound by his apparition. The multiform symbolism of this scene, the compositional subordination of every visible object on the canvas to the divine apparition, which is sustained chromatically by the rose tones that come to a climax in the red drapery of Dionysus, all show that Tsarouchis's last manner did not represent a classicism turned back towards the past but a classicism used to paint the present."3

    Discussing the work in her monograph on Tsarouchis, Dr. E. Florou made the following perceptive remarks: "Crowned with a halo and holding a red cloak, god Dionysus appears in the sky at the top of an imaginary pyramid -as if he were a representation of Christ in Resurrection- before three contemporary Greeks -a military officer in shorts and two women, on the lower right. The scene takes place in Athens' Kerameikos cemetery, which is defined by buildings lining a street rendered in perspective by two receding diagonals in the foreground. The composition -based on a triangle, which is the favourite shape of the Renaissance and particularly of Leonardo's- draws from purely byzantine sources including Resurrection representations in illuminated manuscripts. In terms of subject matter, this work portraying Dionysus-Christ symbolises the unbroken continuity of Hellenism, from antiquity to the Christian era to Modern Greece."4

    1. Y. Tsarouchis, Comments on the Works Included in the Yannis Tsarouchis (1910-1989) Painting [in Greek], Yannis Tsarouchis Foundation, 1990, no. 467, p. xii.
    2. Euripides's play is based on the myth of King Pentheus of Thebes and his mother Agave of the royal house of Cadmus, who were punished by Dionysus because they refused to honour him as the son of god Zeus, and mortal Semele, killed while pregnant by jealous Hera. After travelling far and wide, Dionysus returns to take revenge on the house of Cadmus.
    3. Theophilos, Kontoglou, Ghika, Tsarouchis, Four Painters of 20th Century Greece, exhibition catalogue, Wildenstein, London 1975, p. 39.
    4. E. Florou, Yannis Tsarouchis: His Painting and his Era [in Greek], Nea Synora-Livanis editions, Athens 1999, pp. 200-202.
Contacts
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories, buyer's premium excluding Cars, Motorbikes, Wine and Coin & Medal sales, will be as follows:

Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £2,500 of the hammer price;
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;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £3,000,000.

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Lot symbols
AR Artists Resale Right

Goods subject to Artists Resale Right Additional Premium.