Konstantinos Volanakis
Ships arriving at port
oil on canvas
63 x 115 cm
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All the characteristics of Volanakis’ morphoplastic idiom are present in this composition: realistic faithfulness, detailed accounts, selective shaping, individual elements of landscape painting, strong narrative mood, harmony.

On the left is a small part of a dock, with a few people looking out to sea and a boat moored in front of them. Two large ships, a two-masted boat and a paddle steamer, are behind the mole. In the background, all along the coast, buildings appear in front of the massifs. On the left, near the port, sailboats and steamships are depicted anchored offshore, and on the left, in the distance, lost in the vast sea, two-masted ships are sailing across the sea. In the centre, Volanakis presents the main action: a couple aboard a boat and a boatman rowing. Further behind, another boat full of large objects is alongside a large sailing ship with hoisted sails. The two sailors on the boat are talking to a sailor on the deck of the ship. Among the detailed pictorial references, those that stand out are the clothing details of the couple on the boat; the man in a dark suit and straw hat, the woman with a parasol and the sailor in a waistcoat and cap.


Marilena Z. Kassimati (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Poet of the Sea, exhibition catalogue, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Hellenic Maritime Museum, Athens 2009, pp. 126-127, 182 (Ships arriving at port, 1875-1883).

Takis Mavrotas (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: The Father of Greek Seascape Painting, exhibition catalogue, B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts, Athens 2018, pp. 108-109.

Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, pp. 76-77.

Sotheby’s / London, The Greek Sale, 17/04/2008.

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