Nicholaos Gysis (Greek, 1842-1901) The artist's daughter / Penelope Gysis 40.8 x 33.8 cm.

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Lot 18
Nicholaos Gysis
(Greek, 1842-1901)
The artist's daughter / Penelope Gysis 40.8 x 33.8 cm.

Sold for £ 62,500 (US$ 78,275) inc. premium
Nicholaos Gysis (Greek, 1842-1901)
The artist's daughter / Penelope Gysis
stamped 'N. Gysis' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
40.8 x 33.8 cm.

Footnotes

  • Painted c. 1882.

    Provenance
    The artist's estate.
    Edla Nazou collection.
    Private collection, Athens.

    Literature
    N. Misirli, Gysis, Adam editions, Athens 1995, no. 72, p. 126 (illustrated).

    Exhibited
    Athens, National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Nikolaos Gysis 1842-1901, The Great Artist, October 8 - December 10, 2001, no. 38 (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, fig. 36, p. 60).


    "Among the many portraits of children painted by Gysis, those of his own children are some of the best in terms of quality."1 As noted by former Athens National Gallery Director M. Kalligas, "Gysis produced only a limited number of works portraying people he knew well. The portraits of family members were painted with love and affection, starting with his daughter Penelope, whose likeness he seemingly used on various occasions as a model and in which Marcel Montandon2 discerned a noble Greek countenance."3

    The young girl's posture and calm detachment, as if she is praying, daydreaming or trying to concentrate, recalls the artist's famous Learning by heart painted around the same time, a period of great creativity during which he produced a number of exquisite works.4 Here, while conveying some of the best qualities for which the Munich School was internationally famous in the 1880s, this captivating portrait is refreshingly humane and pictorially fresh, standing as a lucid demonstration of Gysis's sensitivity to colour values, honesty of representation and integration of his sitter's likeness into a convincing and homogeneous whole.

    According to N. Misirli, who prepared the artist's 1996 monograph, the work has been in the collection of Edla Abercromby, daughter of Lord Abercromby and wife of the artist's close friend Georgios Nazos, the son of Nikolaos Nazos, Gysis's most steadfast supporter and patron.5

    1. C. Didaskalou, Gysis in Tinos, 100 Years from the Death of the Artist, exhibition catalogue, Tinos 2001, p. 44.
    2. Marcel Montandon was the author of the first monograph on Gysis, published in Germany in 1902.
    3. M. Kalligas, Nicholas Gysis [in Greek], National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Athens 1981, p. 63; see also M. Montandon, Nikolaus Gysis, Bielefeld and Leipzig 1902.
    4. See N. Misirli, "The Painter Gysis, his Life, his Work and his Era" [in Greek] in Nikolaos Gysis 1842-1901, The Great Artist, National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 2001, p. 50.
    5. See N. Misirli, Gysis [in Greek], Adam, Athens 1996, p. 372; see also Georgios Nazos and the Athens Conservatory, Athens 1938, p. 60.
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