Konstantinos Volanakis
Sunset at the seashore
oil on canvas
42 x 66.5 cm
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An elaborate pictorial depiction by Constantinos Volanakis, painted with a combination of two different styles, the austere linguistic idiom of the Munich School’s academic rules and the evident modernist influences by landscape impressionists. Many individual pictorial elements are also contrasting; the serene seascape in juxtaposition with the busy coast and the sober clothing, the men’s suits and hats and the women’s elaborate ensembles compared to the plain attire of the fishermen.

The golden-yellow rays of the sunset penetrate through the cloudy sky and diffuse all over the scene, the seashore, the bay and the distant cape.

Scenes of everyday life in a seaside anchorage play out in the foreground: boats moored on the shore, a fisherman fishing with a rod, two women walking, a well-dressed man watching, and various figures in the background on the fish-pier. These descriptions are thorough, their details impressive, such as the colourful kilim and the utility objects of the fishing boat in the centre. Various sailboats and steamships are depicted in the wind-sheltered bay, and the picture is completed by the rocky coastline that ends in a small fortress.


Takis Mavrotas (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: The Father of Greek Seascape Painting, exhibition catalogue, B&M Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts, Athens 2018, p. 111.

Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, pp. 98-99.

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