Latest Greek Sale at Sotheby’s a great success

Symbols and myths, seascapes and mermaids, heroic battles from the 1821 War of Independence and sunlit Greek landscapes drew both Greek and foreign art lovers, who packed the auction room at Sotheby’s in London’s New Bond Street for its Greek Sale on Wednesday. It was standing-room only as the phones rang off the hook with calls from collectors who wished to remain anonymous as they bid for 94 paintings and sculptures by leading Greek artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. Most are from family collections, bought straight from the artists, such as the «Angel of Judgement» bought by the Ionian Island collector Dionysios Loverdos, who has the largest collection of Parthenis paintings. The symbolic, allegoric painting of a young woman holding a whip in one hand and a globe in the other, fetched the highest price of 393,169 euros. Demand was also high for «Boats in a Calm Bay» by Constantine Volanakis, bought by a British art dealer for 277,113 euros. A large work by Theophilos Hadzimichalis, a Mytilene folk artist, was met by gasps of admiration. Depicting the pursuit of the Turkish Pasha Kutali by Karaiskakis and his men under the Parthenon, from the Embeirikos collection, the work was bought by a Greek collector for 360,010 euros, a record for the artist at an auction. There were a total of 14 record sales which netted a total 3,039,364 euros, while the auction as a whole netted 2 million pounds. Sotheby’s next Greek Sale is on December 12.

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