New records reached at Sotheby’s 12th Greek Sale last week in London

LONDON – How high can the demand for Greek works of art go? This was the prevailing question at Sotheby’s last week at the conclusion of the international auction house’s 12th Greek Sale, which, once again, reached new records. Sales from last week’s auction reached 10,994,082 euros, surpassing the figure of the previous auction, which took place last November and reached -7,315,436. In the rainy British capital, Greek art appeared to be blossoming last week. Although the sale didn’t break the record for the most expensive work sold (Nikiforos Lytras’s «Yiorti sta Megara» went for -1,138,396 in November) it did reach record prices for 25 Greek artists. Constantinos Volanakis’s «Volos Harbor at Night» was the sale’s top-selling work at 951,965 euros, while Constantinos Parthenis came in second with «The Walk of the Caryatid,» which sold for -853,121. Other records included Theodoros Vryzakis’s «The Young Man’s Farewell» in third place, selling for 853,121 euros; Giorgos Bouzianis with «Father and Sons» at 606,010 euros in fifth place; Nikolaos Vokos’s «Young Girl with Flowers» in seventh place at 490,692 euros and Yiannis Moralis, whose «Figure I» went for 457,744 euros. Yiannis Spyropoulos’s «Vuraicos» was sold for -353,016 in ninth place, while Michalis Economou’s «Along the Shore» sold for -291,238 in 10th place. The first 10 works also include Volanakis’s «Pushing out to Sea» (-704,854 in fourth place) and Nikolaos Gyzis’s «The Orphans» in sixth place with -523,640. Records were also reached by works of other artists including Constantinos Romanidis, Emmanuel Zairis, Alexis Akrithakis, Nikos Kessanlis, Apostolos Tsirogianis, Stephanos Daskalakis, Alecos Kontopoulos and Sophia Laskaridou. What led to the great success of the 12th Greek Sale? The works sold were of high quality and buyers’ interest has picked up, while it is obvious that the Greek market has a good number of players, whether old-school collectors or just people who see art as an investment. The auction was conducted by renowned auctioneer Adrian Biddell, head of Sotheby’s 19th century European paintings department. «In 20 years’ time, Greek art will be bought by foreigners,» said Biddell to Kathimerini after the auction.