Konstantinos Volanakis
The tide
oil on canvas
67 x 101 cm
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Another work by Volanakis that deals with a seascape during the night hours. The left side of the painting depicts a cluster of seaside, stone-built, one-, two- and three-storey buildings, while the rest of the scene is dominated by the sea.

In the centre of the composition, in the foreground, two people can be seen with their feet in the water trying to tow a two-masted sailboat with a rope tied to a pole, while a third person watches them from the shore.

In the distance, far out into the open sea, sailboats can be seen sailing in a light swell, while near the shore, the white lapping waves create white foam as they crash against the wooden hull.

The people are outlined without any distinct features under the dim light of the overcast sky, and only the hull and masts of the sailboat are drawn clearly.

The entire scene is characterised by a simplicity that evokes neither Volanakis’s usual style nor his narrative skill.


Thodoris Koutsogiannis (curator), Constantinos Volanakis: Nostos of the Sea. Artworks from the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation collection, exhibition catalogue, Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, pp. 148-149.

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