Konstantinos Volanakis
At the shipyard
oil on canvas
20.6 x 35.6 cm
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A two-masted ship with rigging and masts dominates in the centre, fixed on poles, its deck covered with red canvas. On the left is a shack made out of wooden planks and various sails, while a sailboat can be spotted in the distance behind it. On the right side, in the foreground, only flora and a human figure can be seen, but in the distance the composition is dense with many pictorial elements; boats, sailboats and a big, tile-roofed building surrounded by tall trees. This composition also depicts a number of men at work on the vessel or under the side of the lifted ship, at rest in the makeshift tent or even on the move with a bundle on the shoulder.

By depicting the small shipyard, the painter is able to create his favourite boats, another seascape, but above all to pictorially negotiate the scale of the depicted elements compared to the human figures. The painting has a strong narrative atmosphere and, despite its small size, everything has been rendered in great detail.


Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, pp. 40, 153.

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