Konstantinos Volanakis
The crossing
oil on canvas
54.5 x 104 cm
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A fishing sailboat with taut sails and gathered nets is crossing the waves in a turbulent sea. On the deck, seven fishermen described in detail appear seated, some in capes, others in fezzes, some in caps and others in straw hats. An islet is faintly visible far away in the distant horizon, and around it there are large two-masted sailboats with open sails. On the right, far out to sea, there is also a faintly visible steamship with its characteristic smoke coming out of the funnel.

The imposing seascape is rendered with continuous alternating cool, deep tonal hues. The deep green colours mix with various dark and light blue hues, the shadowy areas transform into black and blue, while white foam sometimes appears on the surface. In contrast, the sky is rendered with soft alternating warm colours, sometimes bright and sometimes dimmer, revealing the cloudy masses.

A poetic mood is evident throughout the atmosphere, and the sense of vastness is carefully conveyed to the viewer.


Marilena Z. Kassimati (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Poet of the Sea, exhibition catalogue, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Hellenic Maritime Museum, Athens 2009, pp. 148-149, 184 (n.d.).

Takis Mavrotas (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: The Father of Greek Seascape Painting, exhibition catalogue, B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts, Athens 2018, p. 76.

Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, pp. 146-147.

Sotheby’s / London, The Greek Sale, 02/10/2002.

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