Bonhams /May 22, 2012
Artworks in Arcadja73
Some works of Nicholaos GysisExtracted between 73 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Bonhams -Apr 28, 2015 - LondonLot number: 18
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Nicholaos Gysis (Greek, 1842-1901) The artist's daughter / Penelope Gysis stamped 'N. Gysis' (on the reverse) oil on canvas 40.8 x 33.8 cm. Footnotes Painted c. 1882. Provenance The artist's estate. Edla Nazou collection. Private collection, Athens. Literature N. Misirli, Gysis , Adam editions, Athens 1995, no. 72, p. 126 (illustrated). Exhibited Athens, National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Nikolaos Gysis 1842-1901, The Great Artist , October 8 - December 10, 2001, no. 38 (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, fig. 36, p. 60). "Among the many portraits of children painted by Gysis, those of his own children are some of the best in terms of quality." 1 As noted by former Athens National Gallery Director M. Kalligas, "Gysis produced only a limited number of works portraying people he knew well. The portraits of family members were painted with love and affection, starting with his daughter Penelope, whose likeness he seemingly used on various occasions as a model and in which Marcel Montandon 2 discerned a noble Greek countenance." 3 The young girl's posture and calm detachment, as if she is praying, daydreaming or trying to concentrate, recalls the artist's famous Learning by heart painted around the same time, a period of great creativity during which he produced a number of exquisite works. 4 Here, while conveying some of the best qualities for which the Munich School was internationally famous in the 1880s, this captivating portrait is refreshingly humane and pictorially fresh, standing as a lucid demonstration of Gysis's sensitivity to colour values, honesty of representation and integration of his sitter's likeness into a convincing and homogeneous whole. According to N. Misirli, who prepared the artist's 1996 monograph, the work has been in the collection of Edla Abercromby, daughter of Lord Abercromby and wife of the artist's close friend Georgios Nazos, the son of Nikolaos Nazos, Gysis's most steadfast supporter and patron. 5 1 . C. Didaskalou, Gysis in Tinos, 100 Years from the Death of the Artist , exhibition catalogue, Tinos 2001, p. 44. 2 . Marcel Montandon was the author of the first monograph on Gysis, published in Germany in 1902. 3 . M. Kalligas, Nicholas Gysis [in Greek], National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Athens 1981, p. 63; see also M. Montandon, Nikolaus Gysis, Bielefeld and Leipzig 1902. 4 . See N. Misirli, "The Painter Gysis, his Life, his Work and his Era" [in Greek] in Nikolaos Gysis 1842-1901, The Great Artist , National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 2001, p. 50. 5 . See N. Misirli, Gysis [in Greek], Adam, Athens 1996, p. 372; see also Georgios Nazos and the Athens Conservatory, Athens 1938, p. 60.
Auction: Bonhams -Apr 24, 2013 - LondonLot number: 21
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Nicholaos Gysis (Greek, 1842-1901) Studies for the work 'Industry' signed with initials 'N.G.' (lower middle) and again signed and inscribed 'Draperiestudie zur Industrie Prof. Nikolaus Gysis / Muenchen' (on the reverse) pencil and white chalk on paper 36.2 x 22.8 cm. PROVENANCE: Christies Greek Sale of 15 December 1998, lot 26. Acquired from the above sale by the present owner.
Auction: Bonhams -Nov 27, 2012 - LondonLot number: 7
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Nicholaos Gysis (Greek, 1842-1901) Examining the dogs oil on canvas 59.5 x 82 cm. Painted c. 1870. PROVENANCE: Iphigenia Gysis (possibly). Peabody Collection, Baltimore. William Fisher, USA. Private collection, USA. Private collection, Athens. EXHIBITED: Athens, National Gallery and Alexander Soutzos Museum, Nicholaos Gysis - The Great Creator , 2001, no 7 (p. 21 illustrated in the catalogue). "This painting of mine, Examining the dogs, depicts a certain custom, which takes place here [in Munich] twice a year. Don't let my choice of subject perplex you. Even the Germans here wonder why I, a stranger, show interest in their customs. My teacher [Karl von Piloty] is extremely pleased with me and says to everybody: 'Gysis must stay with us here.' Let them say on. I know which country is my homeland." Letter to N. Nazos, September 21, 1870. 1 This genre painting is one of the first in a series of works by Gysis that deal with subjects drawn from daily life and records his stylistic evolution at the outset of his illustrious career, while providing valuable information regarding his thorough study of the old masters at Munich's Alte Pinakothek. 2 Gysis drew on Dutch genre paintings of the 17th century, depicting everyday scenes with warmth and tenderness that, like their Dutch predecessors, were rich in narrative detail, renouncing, however, the bawdiness often associated with such pictures. His palette is suffused in grey-green hues in the vein of G. Terborch and G. Metscher whose work he self-admittedly emulated. The artist applied this colour scheme to all the works he completed prior to his first trip back to Greece and the Orient in 1872-74 (compare The Painter in the Orient) Examining the dogs is a multi-figured scene set in the courtyard of a Bavarian house that develops in a semi-circular manner, partially under a wooden arbour. Slightly off centre in this masterly composition, in which the figural groups are positioned as a series of overlapping triangles, Gysis highlights an elderly woman in a vividly coloured red shawl holding her pet on a wooden crate and showing its teeth to the veterinarian, who leans in for a closer and prolonged inspection. From there, the composition spills forward towards the edges of the canvas in the shape of an inverted V, including various types - women in peasant garb, children, adults and elderly dog-owners, while a genteel lady in black along with her well-dressed child and their good-looking pet dog stand out on the extreme right. The same broad variety of types is also manifest among the canine protagonists, with many different breeds, sizes and colours shown. This amphitheatrical arrangement of attractive vignettes recalls the signature compositional format of Gysis's teacher Karl von Piloty. As noted by the late Dr. N. Missirli who prepared the artist's monograph, "in terms of the overall compositional design, Gysis followed on the footsteps of the German master, whose seemingly spontaneous layout but in fact well-thought out choreographic staging he used in his multi-figured scenes. Here, however, the many figures are not drawn to a single focal point, but form different groupings and include individuals who patiently await their dogs' examination." 3 These various areas of interest are both bisected and unified by the empty pictorial space which fills much of the centre fore- and middle ground, creating a compelling sense of depth. By effectively combining this unadorned space with a variety of carefully studied themes and postures and by utilising swift and energetic brushstrokes, Gysis created a pictorially harmonious reality and conveyed a sense of presence and tactile immediacy that instantly engages the viewer in the narrative. 1 . Letters by Nicholaos Gysis [in Greek], Eklogi editions, Athens 1953, p. 20. 2 . See Treasures of Modern Greek Art - The Yannis Perdios Collection [in Greek], exhibition catalogue, National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum and Mt. Sinai Foundation, Athens 1998, p. 120. 3 . N. Misirli, Gysis [in Greek], Adam editions, Athens 1995, p. 46.
Auction: Bonhams -May 22, 2012 - LondonLot number: 10
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Nicholaos Gysis (Greek, 1842-1901) The dance of the Muses / Musentanz signed 'N. Gysis' (lower right) pastel and charcoal on paper 46.5 x 78.5 cm. Painted in 1897. PROVENANCE: Private collection, Athens. EXHIBITED: Munich, Glaspalast, 1901, no 133. Athens, Exhibition of works by Nicholaos Gysis , Eteria Filotechnon, Iliou Melathron, 1928, no 87. Athens, Nikolaos Gysis 1842-1901, The Great Master , National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, October 8 - December 10 2001, no. 17 (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, fig. 53, p. 83). LITERATURE: Nelli Missirli, Gysis , Adam Editions, Athens 1996, no 218, p.p. 274-275 and p. 359 (illustrated). Yannis Papaioannou, Greek Artists, Nicholaos Gysis , volume A', Melissa Publications, Athens 1974, p. 184, no 34 (illustrated). Marinos Kalligas, Nicholaos Gysis , MIET Editions, Athens 1981, p. 104 (referred). M. Papanikolaou, Works by 19th C. Greek Artists in the Art Exhibitions of Munich , Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 1978, p. 339 (referred). E. Kazolea, Das Allegorische Werk von Nikolaos Gysis , master's thesis, University of Regensburg, Regensburg 1988, no. 110 (illustrated). "Throughout my life I dreamed." N. Gysis Reading like a piece of Greek mythology eternalised on an archaic red figure vase or the pediment of a classical temple, this mesmerizing work of idealized beauty, pure idea and linear rhythm bears the mark of a great artist who envisioned an imaginary world where all dreams and aspirations could be fulfilled. Drawing from the poetic and inspiring atmosphere of the symbolist era, imbued with grace and harmony and charged with spiritual content, the nine ethereal and feathery muses convey a sense of perpetual movement, marking a nuanced shift from the visible to the invisible and luring the viewer to a transitory state where gravity is negated and the soul elevated to the realm of music. "Gysis is interested in capturing rhythm and movement. The dancing to the sounds of the musical notes on the stave underscoring the composition dominates the exquisite Dance of the Muses (1897), in which wispy female entities, drawn with the melodic and flowing lines of Jugendstil, rhythmically perform their dance moves against a crimson-coloured flat background of an undefined space." 1 "Gysis's references to the Greek past offer an inexhaustible variety of expressions. Dance of the Muses is a composition of movements captured in white and black lines on a terracotta backdrop, where the grace of the female bodies and the variety of their waving foldings conveys the impression that we stand before a classical frieze. A sequence of musical notes can be discerned at the feet of the central figure." 2 As noted by Dr. N. Misirli, an authority on the artist, "Gysis was particularly drawn to music and poetry and had expressed the wish to become a musician or a poet if he was ever born again. His entire oeuvre is suffused by musical suppleness and poetic impulse, while many of his works were created to the sound of the music played by his children. His relationship with music was established during his childhood, when the sounds of the violin and the lute from local celebrations and feasts reverberated throughout his native island. Consequently, one of his first priorities when he arrived in Munich was to start taking music lessons and, as inferred from his correspondence, he often visited the opera and was fired up by the works of Richard Wagner. As time went by, Gysis increasingly painted and thought listening to the piano, mainly works by Beethoven, whom he considered the ultimate master. During his idealistic reflections he placed music above all other arts. His adulation of music should be seriously considered when one studies his work, because otherwise it is impossible to fully comprehend his harmonious, sensitive, rhythmical lines and lyrical compositions." 3 "The melody of lines of a composition developing in a planar fashion also resounds in Dance of the Muses." 4 In his seminal treatise on Gysis, former Athens National Gallery Director M. Kalligas noted that "Dance of the Muses is a typical example of the unique grace and elegance with which Gysis endowed his subjects," 5 while Professor T. Tsatsos argued that "in Gysis's later years his figures become almost transparent, immaterial, like spiritual beings. A few lines against a luminous background and some touches of light against a dark background and a figure emerges. These figures seem like sparse yet strikingly beautiful fragments of a lost civilization." 6 1 . M. Katsanaki, The Drawing in Nikolaos Gysis's Work in Nikolaos Gysis 1842-1901, The Great Master, exhibition catalogue [in Greek], National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 2001, p. 110. 2 . Y. Papaioannou, Gysis's Painting in The Greek Painters [in Greek], vol. 1, Melissa editions, Athens 1974, p. 162. 3 . N. Misirli, The Ideological Background of Gysis's Works in Nikolaos Gysis 1842-1901, The Great Master [in Greek], exhibition catalogue, National Gallery - A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 2001, p. 82. 4 . N. Misirli, Gysis [in Greek], Adam editions, Athens 1995, p. 268. 5. M. Kalligas, Nikolas Gysis [in Greek], National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation, Athens 1981, p. 104. 6 . T. Tsatsos, Design and Colour in Gysis's Work, in About Painting [in Greek], Estia editions, Athens 1970, pp. 47-48.
Auction: Bonhams -Nov 28, 2011 - LondonLot number: 9
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Nicholaos Gysis (Greek, 1842-1901) Painting monk signed 'N. Gysis' (lower right) oil on canvas 27 x 22 cm. PROVENANCE: Private collection, Athens. LITERATURE: Nelly Missirli, Gysis , Adam Editions, Athens 1996, p. 166, no 112 (illustrated). Evoking century-old memories and pious traditions, this atmospheric Gysis conveys a sense of romantic mystique and veiled nostalgia. Working within a subdued scale, the artist relies on soft contours and dark shadows to express a mood of tranquillity and a noble sentiment of holy respect, while an intense shaft of light, sharply invading the dark interior from the right, hits the easeled canvas, transforming it into a luminous area glowing with shimmering whiteness and making it the picture's undisputed focal point. As noted by N. Misirli in her monograph on the artist, "in Painting monk , the intense chiaroscuro transforms the easeled canvas from a surface lit by natural light to a self-illuminated object". Visible brushwork and seeming lack of finish combined with sfumato effects -recalling Leonardo da Vinci who in his notes on painting wrote that light and shade should blend without lines or borders, all call attention to the painting process - both the monk's and Gysis's. . N. Misirli, Gysis [in Greek], Adam editions, Athens 1996, p. 136.