‘Greek Sale’ at London auction

More works by some of the great masters of late 19th and early 20th century Greek art will appear at Sotheby’s two-part «Greek Sale» which is to take place in London this coming Monday and Wednesday. «The Naughty Child,» a typical genre scene by Nikiforos Lytras, one of the most esteemed Greek late-19th-century artists of the so-called School of Munich – the group of artists which studied at the Academy of Munich and worked in an academic style – is presented as the auction’s «masterpiece.» This is mainly because the painting is appearing at auction for the first time. The work was painted by Lytras at two different time periods. A photograph that documented the original painting shows the artist’s grandchild in the nude. Lytras reworked the painting and sold it to a private collector at the turn of the century. It has not been accessible to scholars since. Its estimated worth is put at 145,000 to 217,000 euros. As at every Greek Sale at Sotheby’s, there are also seascapes by the great maritime painter Constantinos Volanakis. «Outside the Harbor» (estimated at 116,000 – 174,000 euros) has been singled out for its non-academic, spontaneous style and the skillful depiction of light and atmosphere. A version of this particular painting belongs to the collection at the National Gallery in Athens. There are also paintings from the second half of the 20th century. A lovely, early painting by the late Nikos Kessanlis (dated 1956) represents a lesser-known period in the artist’s work (estimated at 36,100 – 51,000 euros). Another unusual work is the painting «A Flower» by Alexis Akrithakis. It is signed and dated «1980» and comes from the Alexander Iolas collection (estimated at 4,350 – 7,300 euros). Among the contemporary Greek artists represented in the sale are Yiannis Kottis, Irine Iliopoulou, Kostis Georgiou and Manolis Haros. Most of the works are paintings and have been made by established artists who are commercially successful in the Greek art world. Sotheby’s Greek Sale is to be held on May 22 and 24 in London at Sotheby’s New Bond Street premises and at Sotheby’s in Olympia, respectively. For information: tel XX(0)20.7293.5868.