Moralis, Tsarouchis and Volonakis Star at Greek Sale

Composition, by Yiannis Moralis (1916-2009) is one of the leading works at Bonhams Greek Sale in London on Wednesday 17 April. It is estimated at £70,000-100,000.

Bonhams Greek Art specialist, Anastasia Orfanidou said: "Composition is an important work, dating from 1951, that was shown in the blockbuster Moralis exhibition at the Benakis Museum in 2018. It's very rare for paintings from this period of the artist's career to appear at auction, and I anticipate a lot of interest from collectors."

The sale also features several works by Yiannis Tsarouchis (1910-1989). Greek military policeman in front of pink wall with two palm leaves, estimated at £30,000-50,000, was highly prized by the artist himself, who said of it: "I consider this work one of my best Military Policemen." Tsarouchis often featured virile working-class young men in his paintings, seeing in these figures of soldiers, sailors, policemen, and football players the humane dignity and inner truth of modern Greece.

The artist on the Pont Neuf, Villeneuve-les-Sablons, dates from 1974-5 when Tsarouchis was living in exile in France. The artist imaginatively combines echoes of Byzantine icons, Pompeian frescos, Renaissance paintings and folk art to produce a work that captures the timeless allure of Paris. Finally, Autumn, painted in 1971, is one of a number of works exploring the four seasons that Tsarouchis executed between the mid-1960s and mid-1970s. The sitter was his niece Korina Koutouzi, and the work is painted in earthy colours, highlighted by solid outlines and set against a dark background reminiscent of paintings by the Venetian Renaissance master, Giovanni Bellini (1435-1516). It is estimated at £40,000-60,000.

Additionally, the sale offers works by artists of historical significance:

- Sunset promenade with ships in the distance by Constantinos Volonakis (1837-1907) is a perfect example of the artist's ability to absorb the influence of the Munich School – he trained and later worked in Bavaria for many years – and create a work that remains unmistakably Greek. Estimate: £40,000-60,000.

- Erotokritos and Aretoussa by Theofilos Hadjimichael (1871-1934) illustrates a passage from Erotokritos, written in 1640 by Komaros and considered to be the greatest masterpiece of Cretan poetry. Estimate: £30,000-50,000.

Other key pieces in the sale include works by Greek artists of international acclaim:

- Reconstruction # 86 by Lucas Samaras (1936-). Estimate: £40,000-60,000.

- Two untitled works by Chryssa (1933-2013). Estimate: £25,000-35,000 each.

- Three trees / Trois Arbres by Pavlos (1930-). Estimate: £30,000-40,000.

- Flower (with Cycladic figure by Panayiotis Takis (1925-). Estimate: £20,000-30,000.


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