Θαλασσογραφίες – Από τη Συλλογή της Τράπεζας της Ελλάδος | Seascapes – From the Bank of Greece Collection [bilingual catalogue]
Introduction: Charis Kanellopoulou
Translation: Yorgo Seferlis
Publisher: Bank of Greece (Centre for Culture, Research and Documentation)
Year of publication: 2022
Number of pages: 112
Dimensions: 21.5 x 21.5 cm
Book type: Exhibition catalogue
The seascape paintings from the Bank of Greece Art Collection constitute distinct and representative versions of the rich rendition of marine topography, as this evolves alongside the course followed by Greek art from the mid-19th century to the modern era. In the first century of expression of modern Greek painting, local artists carry in their personal idiom the influence of the European tradition of seascape painting, with a productive interest in the time-honoured formalities and the required descriptiveness in their depictions of places and events. Walking on into the 20th and, later on, in the 21st century, a better understanding of the uniqueness of the Greek landscape turns the creators towards a different perception of the atmosphere of the Greek sea and towards a visual recording of its variable elements, depending on the conditions and differentiations that occur. In their works, the focus is mainly on figurative representation, but this time on different theoretical and stylistic terms, which, on a case-by-case basis, allow for further interpretations of the topic, and sometimes for metaphoric extensions.
Selected for the exhibition at the Art Gallery of the Cyclades are works from the Bank of Greece Art Collection belonging to different thematic categories of seascape painting that cover this time course. The scenery –be it a natural marine, coastal, or island setting- is sometimes portrayed as the protagonist, and other times combined with sea-related events, both ordinary and historic ones. Paintings of ports and ships highlight the artists’ detailed observation and the skillful painterly transfer of places and objects on the canvas, while also accommodating for human nautical action. Upon closer examination of the works, it becomes apparent that the individual topics evolve autonomously, creating their own depth of artistic tradition. At the same time, they testify to a strong connection with the experiences, beliefs and memories that spring from life at sea, for their creators and spectators alike.
(From C. Kanellopoulou’s Introduction)