Konstantinos Volanakis
On calm waters
oil on canvas
35.7 x 56.7 cm
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In this composition, Volanakis once again chooses the perspective of the observer looking from the shore towards the open sea. On the left is the endless blue, and in the middle of the sea is a barque rigged with all of its sails, crossing the calm waters, while a small sailboat can just be seen in the distance.

On the right side of the scene, the composition becomes denser; in addition to the coastal massifs, Volanakis depicts a number of sailboats, steamships, a small pier with boats and a few buildings on the shore.
In the foreground, the main focal point in the middle of the scene is a fishing boat on the shore with two fisherman beside it. The viewer’s gaze justifiably focuses on the detailed pictorial rendering of the boat and on the sailcloth’s characteristic red colour.

It is an eloquent, albeit silent, seascape of infinite beauty, with all the elements of Volanakis’ academic knowledge, but also all the unique characteristics of his style and personal favorite narrative elements.


Marilena Z. Kassimati (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Poet of the Sea, exhibition catalogue, Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation, Hellenic Maritime Museum, Athens 2009, pp. 122, 182 (1875-1883, 37.7 x 56.7 cm).

Takis Mavrotas (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: The Father of Greek Seascape Painting, exhibition catalogue, B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts, Athens 2018, p. 49.

Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, pp. 94-95.

Sotheby’s / London, The Greek Sale, 11/11/2008.

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