Konstantinos Volanakis
The crossing
oil on canvas
61 x 100 cm
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In this seascape, Volanakis depicts the ships tilting due to the force of the wind. Sailboats with taut sails are struggling across the turbulent sea. A long massif is outlined in the distance, and a one-masted vessel with its red sail billowing appears faintly in front of it. On the left side, a two-masted sailboat is sailing away in the open sea and the sails of sailing vessels are barely outlined in the same area.

A fishing sailboat manned by five men can be seen in the centre. The painter’s narrative mood is evident, among other things, in the crew’s clothing, whose heads are covered. One wears a cap, another a fez, another a straw hat and another a headscarf. The special features of the boat, the masts, the triangular and rectangular sails, the ropes and all the rigging, have also been rendered in detail.
In this work, the painter emphatically describes the contrasting colours of the luminous sky and the dark surface of the deep sea.


Marilena Z. Kassimati (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: The Poet of the Sea, exhibition catalogue, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Hellenic Maritime Museum, Athens 2009, pp. 146-147, 184

Takis Mavrotas (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: The Father of Greek Seascape Painting, exhibition catalogue, B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts, Athens 2018, p. 96.

Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, p. 139.

Bonhams / London, The Greek Sale, 13/12/2005.

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