Konstantinos Volanakis
Harbour of Volos by moonlight
oil on canvas
63 x 116 cm
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This work depicts people moving on the harbour waterfront on a moonlit night. People are walking on foot along the street and on the pavement, others are riding in carriages, and a train is crossing in the middle of the street. The buildings, two or three storeys high, have their windows lit. A few ships are alongside the mole, boats are moored and various sailboats are anchored offshore. The main focal point is a paddle steamer, which looms in the foreground in the centre of the scene.

Volanakis is fond of night landscapes and masterfully renders the diffusion of light, creating an interplay between dark, shadowed and bright spots. The white surfaces, such as the two funnels and the two large steam paddle wheels, are highly luminous and draw the viewer’s attention. The light-coloured pavements are also quite bright, while the massifs in the background are very dark.

In terms of its composition, this work is reminiscent of the National Gallery painting “The port of Volos”, oil on panel, 32.5 x 48 cm (see Manolis Vlachos, “Constantinos Volanakis”, “Great Greek painters” series, Athens 2006, pp. 118-119) and “Moonlit harbour of Volos”, 1895-1900, 58.5 x 102 cm, from the collection of the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation.


Marilena Z. Kassimati (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Poet of the Sea, exhibition catalogue, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Hellenic Maritime Museum, Athens 2009, pp. 103, 181 (n.d., 63 x 116 cm).

Ioannis Paloumpis, 'The Boats of Volanakis,' catalogue of the exhibition Constantinos Volanakis: Poet of the Sea’, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Hellenic Maritime Museum, Athens 2009, p. 64.

Takis Mavrotas (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: The Father of Greek Seascape Painting, exhibition catalogue, B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts, Athens 2018, p. 123 (“The port of Volos”, 63 x 118 cm).

Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, pp. 50, 164-165.

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

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