The Nautical Collection of P. C. Laskaridis
Departure from Piraeus to Tinos
Date: 1885-1890

The port of Piraeus is depicted in full detail in the painting’s background. On the wharf, the buildings are accurately depicted and the two-storey Grand Club with its triangular pediment is clearly visible, while the upper part of St. Spyridon’s church with its dome and two bell towers emerges behind it. On the left is the three-storey, tile-roofed building with trees in front, which was once the residence of Miaoulis, and on the right the scene continues with more tall buildings and outdoor kafeneia with awnings. Small fishing boats are anchored in front of the buildings on the left, and a number of large passenger and fishing sailboats are on the right. The main theme unfolds in the centre of the scene: travellers boarding a steamship bedecked with flags. The passengers are in boats and are approaching or have approached the anchored ship, which is ready to depart, as indicated by the smoke rising from the funnel.

The painting’s detailed depictions are impressive, such as the colourful parasols of the crowd in the boats, the women on the rope ladder and the accurate representation of the imposing and enormous passenger ship.
The scene of the pilgrims in the port of Piraeus on their way to Tinos is characterised by Volanakis’ strong narrative mood and demonstrates the high quality and eloquence of his art.

Art historian T. Koutsogiannis (p. 39) says: “In the very compelling painting titled Departure from Piraeus to Tinos (fig. 21), another depiction of the Piraeus scenery, Volanakis indulges in his favourite descriptive veduta marina. The dominant feature is the flag-bedecked ship that will transport the pilgrims boarding the “Megalochari Panagia of Tinos” by boat. In the background, on the left, one can distinguish the (now demolished) Miaoulis residence – at that time a landmark of the city of Piraeus – and behind it the bell towers, pediment and dome of St. Spyridon’s church. Everything has been rendered in detail and synthesised in a calculated manner, but not at the expense of the painterliness of the whole.”

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