Constantinos Parthenis (Greek, 1878-1967) Crepuscule 42 x 40 cm.

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Lot 14AR
Constantinos Parthenis
(Greek, 1878-1967)
Crepuscule 42 x 40 cm.

Sold for £ 31,312 (US$ 41,133) inc. premium
Constantinos Parthenis (Greek, 1878-1967)
Crepuscule
signed 'C. Parthenis' (lower left)
oil on card laid on cardboard
42 x 40 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Nia Stratos collection, Athens.

    In his treatise on the representation of the tree in Greek art, Professor C. Christou notes that "trees hold a prominent position in Parthenis's work and his paintings of the specific subject are exceptional"1, while, as early as 1920, Z. Papantoniou made the following remark: "Parthenis's landscapes from Attica, Corfu and Poros take us to the world of ideas. His eye sees into the ideal, as ours does into the natural. The humblest of his trees reveals a thought."2

    An irresistibly beautiful picture and at the same time a well-formulated treatise on formal issues drawing from the colour expressionism of the fauves and Cezanne's use of paint as a structural element, Crepuscule showcases the vibrancy of the artist's lively brushwork and the tense, mobile application of paint that characterises much of his best work. Throughout the painting Parthenis has used his distinctive parallel strokes with great confidence and freedom to capture with their flickering, vibrant intensity the power and variable pulse of the landscape. The viewer's eye follows the darting movements of his brush, as successive touches of colour are seized upon and added to the picture surface.

    Moreover, the elegant shapes, sinuous lines and wonderful rounded tree forms that instantly bring in mind the handling of foliage in his famous Slope held by the Athens National Gallery, show how the painter exploited the expressive nature of his formal repertoire to offer a poetic, idealised experience of the landscape. Every feature of the scene is animated by colour and lit by grace, charging the composition with an allegorical evocation and elegiac feel.

    1 C. Christou, "The Tree in the Greek Art of the 19th and 20th Century" [in Greek] in The Tree, a Source of Inspiration and Creativity in Greek Art, exhibition catalogue, Averoff Museum, Metsovo and Nicosia Contemporary Art Center, Nicosia 1993, p. 19.
    2 Z. Papantoniou, "The Art of Parthenis" [in Greek], Patris daily, January 19, 1920.
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