CULTURE

A Greek auction at Sotheby’s

Next month will be an exciting one for Greek art collectors, both in Greece and abroad, as Sotheby’s is organizing an auction entirely devoted to Greek works. According to the venerable auction house, recent results have proven that London offers the ideal venues for presenting major Greek works before a truly global audience. Offering exclusively major Greek works of the 19th and 20th centuries, the auction will be held on October 18, in the hope that it will repeat last year’s excellent results of Sotheby’s London auction of important Greek pictures. This unprecedented sale, which included masterpieces by, among others, Nikolaos Lytras and Gounaropoulos, also saw the sale of Nikolaos Gysis’s The Barber, for £590,500 (around $850,000), the highest price ever paid at an auction for a 19th-century Greek painting. This year’s crop ranges from the works of romantic pioneers such as Nikolaos Gyzis and Constantinos Volanakis to modernists such as Constantinos Parthenis, Georgios Bouzianis and Nikos Hadzikyriakos-Ghika. Particular emphasis will be laid on seven works by Parthenis, the founder of the modernist movement in Greece. Parthenis, who was born in 1878 and died in 1967, was commissioned by Ioannis Metaxas to work on a piece destined to decorate the Municipality of Athens. The artist, however, never completed this painting and the work has stayed in the family up to now. The work, titled Athena, will be presented for the very first time during the auction, and is estimated to fetch from £90,000 to £120,000 pounds (around $130,000 to $175,000). The sale will be complemented by important topographical and philhellenic works, while the auction is featured in Sotheby’s Preview magazine and online at sothebys.com. Traveling works In partnership with the private bank Citigroup, Sotheby’s has organized a traveling exhibition of highlights from the Greek sale. Today and tomorrow, the public has a chance to view a number of the works which will go under the hammer in October. These are on display at the Zappas Hall in the Aigli restaurant complex. The opening hours for both days are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.