CULTURE

Greek works to go under the hammer in London

It’s auction time for the collectors of Greek art next week, with two sales scheduled by leading houses Sotheby’s and Bonhams in London. In the last few years alone, Greek sales have been breaking records each time they take place – and many of the artists are being sold for new record prices. Given the current economic slowdown, however, it is hard to predict how buyers will respond this time. To be sure, the results of the two upcoming auctions will be indicative of Greek artwork market operations. On offer On November 10, Bonhams is showcasing 168 works by Greek artists and foreign artists working on Greek themes. The works cover painting and sculpture from the 19th century to the 21st century. According to Art Expertise, Bonhams representatives in Athens, three works stand out in the sale. To begin with, «The Painter’s Family» by Dimitris Galanis is considered the artist’s most important work – having gone on display in Paris alongside works by Pablo Picasso and Pierre Bonnard. The largest work ever painted by the artist, it is estimated at 260,000 to 390,000 euros. Coming next are Constantinos Volanakis’s «The Sailboat Sevaston approaching the Corinth Canal,» which is estimated at 260,000 to 390,000 euros, while the same estimate accompanies a work by Constantinos Maleas. Also going under the hammer are works by Theodoros Rallis, Giorgos Bouzianis, Theofilos, Diamantis Diamantopoulos, Yiannis Spyropoulos and Nikos Kessanlis, among others. A day later, it is Sotheby’s turn to go Greek. The sale includes 203 works, including leading names of the 19th and the 20th centuries – stemming from private collections, these works have not gone on display for quite some time. One of the highlights here is Volanakis’s «The Arrival of Karaiskakis at Faliron,» estimated at 1.9-2.6 million euros. Considered the most important work by the artist ever to appear at auction, it depicts a landmark moment in the Greek War of Independance. Also going under the hammer are seven works by Theodoros Rallis (1852-1909), «The Neighbors,» a painting by Nikolaos Gysis, as well as works by Ioannis Altamouras, Nikos Kessanlis, Alekos Fasianos and Yiannis Moralis, among others. For more information on the sales, visit www.sothebys.com or www.bonhams.com.