Nikolaos  Gyzis (Greek, 1842-1901) Oriental man with beard  20 x 16.5 cm.

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Lot 17
Nikolaos Gyzis
(Greek, 1842-1901)
Oriental man with beard 20 x 16.5 cm.

Sold for £ 21,312 (US$ 28,034) inc. premium
Nikolaos Gyzis (Greek, 1842-1901)
Oriental man with beard
signed 'N.Gysis' (middle right)
oil on panel
20 x 16.5 cm.

Footnotes

  • This delightful and psychologically acute portrait of a whimsical and spirited Oriental—probably the same bearded sitter who posed for the artist's Oriental with pipe in the collection of the National Gallery in Athens—stands as a lucid demonstration of Gysis's extraordinary painterly impulse. His limited but intense palette seems to burst out of the dark background—not only the signature Gysis red but also his mesmerising turquoise blue, which, as noted by N. Misirli, "conveys the impression that the painter dipped his gaze in the deep blue waters of the Aegean."1 The vigorous brushwork, especially in the modelling of the headpiece, generates a sense of mobility, accentuating the picture's close-up immediacy and compelling energy.

    Gysis's life-changing trip to the Orient in 1873 led to the development of a new personal style that retained elements of the Munich School teachings remoulded, however, through the eyes of a Greek. As argued by T. Tsatsos, "colour became as critical for Gysis' design as light was for ancient Greek sculpture. It imbued his design with an instantaneous, fleeting, yet vibrant feel."2

    1 See N. Misirli, Gysis [in Greek], Adam editions, Athens 1995, p. 80.
    2 T. Tsatsos, About Painting [in Greek], Estia publ., Athens 1970, p. 48.
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