Bonhams /May 17, 2011
€89,191.12 - €133,786.68
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Artworks in Arcadja80
Some works of Konstantinos MaleasExtracted between 80 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Auction: Freeman -Dec 2, 2012 - PhiladelphiaLot number: 29
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Lot 29 KONSTANTINOS MALEAS (greek 1879-1928) LANDSCAPE WITH REFLECTING POOL Signed 'K Maleas' bottom right, oil on panel 8 1/2 x 10 9/6 in. (21.6 x 26.8cm) provenance: Private Collection, New Jersey. Estimate $20,000-30,000 Excellent original condition apart from some minor losses to parts of some of the edges of the panel, including at lower left corner, a small loss at upper left corner and some losses at outer right edge. No evidence of any restoration under u.v. light. Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to request a condition report on any lots upon which they intend to bid, prior to placing a bid. All transactions are governed by Freeman's Conditions of Sale.
Auction: Bonhams -Nov 27, 2012 - LondonLot number: 17
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Constantinos Maleas (Greek, 1879-1928) The sources of the Nile signed in Greek (lower right) oil on cardboard 45 x 45 cm. Painted in 1923. PROVENANCE: S. Kourvetaris collection, Athens. Private collection, Athens. EXHIBITED: Athens, Zappeion Megaron, Maleas Retrospective , December 1924. Athens, Ethoussa Stratigopoulou, Group Show , November 1925. Munich, Galerie Paulus, Maleas , May 1927. Athens, Zappeion Megaron, Maleas Retrospective , December 1928. Athens, Studio, Retrospective , February 1-28, 1935. Venice Biennale, 1936. Athens, Parnassos, R etrospective , November 24 -December 14, 1938. Volos (possibly), Maleas Retrospective , 1936 (possibly). Athens, National Gallery and Alexander Soutzos Museum, Maleas Retrospective , Athens, May-July 1980, no 129. LITERATURE: A.Kotidis, The Painter C. Maleas (1879-1928) , doctoral dissertation, Thessaloniki 1982, no.169, pp. 148-149 (discussed), fig. 6.24 (illustrated). E. Mathiopoulos, The Participation of Greece in the Venice Biennale 1934-1940 , doctoral dissertation, vol. B', Rethymno 1996, p. 610 A.Kotidis, Constantinos Maleas (1879-1928) , Adam editions, Athens 2000, pp. 196-197, 200-201 (discussed), p.202 (illustrated).
Auction: Bonhams -Nov 28, 2011 - LondonLot number: 14
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Constantinos Maleas (Greek, 1879-1928) Santorini signed in Greek (lower right) oil on cardboard 49 x 56 cm. Painted in 1924. PROVENANCE: Margarita Kassimatis, Athens. By descent to the present owner. EXHIBITED: Athens, Zappeion Megaron, Maleas , December 1924. Athens, Zappeion Megaron, Retrospective 1928. Athens, Studio, C. Maleas retrospective , February 1-28 1935. Venice, XX Esposizione Biennale Internazionale d'Arte di Venezia , 1936, no 265. Venice, XIV Biennale, Greek participation - C. Maleas retrospective , 1936. Athens, Parnassos exhibition hall, C. Maleas retrospective , November 24 -December 14 1938. Athens, National Gallery, Maleas Retrospective , 1980, no 166. LITERATURE: Antonis Kottidis, Maleas , Adam Editions, Athens 2000, p. 172 and 225, no 168 (illustrated). Antonis Kottidis, Triantafyllidis , University Studio Press, Thessaloniki 2002, p. 97, no 34 (illustrated). Antonis Kotidis, The Painter C. Maleas (1879-1928), doctoral dissertation, Thessaloniki 1982, pp. 151-154 (referred), fig. 6.54, p. 381 (illustrated). E. Matthiopoulos, The Greek Participation in the Venice Biennales 1934-1940, vol. 2, doctoral dissertation, University of Crete, Rethymno 1996, p. 611 (referred). Antonis Kottidis, Constantinos Maleas (1879-1928), Adam editions, Athens 2000, pp. 213, 215, 224, 227, 229-230, 295, 348 (referred), pp. 224-225 (illustrated). 1. Antonis Kottidis, Theofrastos Triantafyllidis , Thessaloniki, 2002, no. 34, p. 97 (illustrated). "The white and porous middle of day" Odysseus Elytis, Axion Esti Selected in 1936 by the Greek Art Committee as one of the 28 works by Maleas that represented Greece at the XX Venice Biennale, this amazing view of magical Santorini is discussed at length and in far more detail than any other painting in the artist's monograph by Professor A. Kotidis: "In Santorini, the landscape is the starting point for the development of a formal system, while the pictorial space is structured through a multitude of juxtapositions. The viewers' attention is not captured only by the charming Aegean landscape that unfolds in front of them but also by the painting's well-defined organizational, compositional and stylistic scheme. A pronounced diagonal from the lower left directs the eye to the upper right corner: the subject is introduced starting from the bottom and unfolds upwardly. The foreground is occupied by rocky formations, pathways and bushes in an almost abstract composition. The steps carved into the rock lead to the middleground, the road and the clifftop settlement. Further back, the soft form of another rocky hill leads the eye towards the background, while a promontory introduces a calm horizontal from right to left in the middle of the composition. The spatial organization is quite unique; although the artist relies on the vertical to render the man-made environment (houses, steps), even contrasting it with horizontal motifs (sea currents, promontory), he actually reserves the leading role for the curvilinear, captured in the S shape that encompasses the adobe dwellings in its upper curve and the rock-carved steps in its lower. Thus, the dominant impression is that the composition is exclusively structured in terms of the curvilinear, resulting in a dynamic and rhythmical work, rich in expressive content." "The composition is based on a diagonal that divides the pictorial space into two triangles, one of land and the other of sea. This strong diagonal, formed by the outline of the land on the lower part and that of the hamlet higher up, is further pronounced by two smaller parallel diagonals. These diagonals enfold the stretch of land outlined in white in the foreground and the hilltop behind the hamlet in the upper middleground. The different handling of lines in the two triangles is part of the work's basic concept of organizing the composition in terms of contrasts and juxtapositions. In the triangle of the land one can follow the oblique parallel lines in the motifs of the pathway, the steps, the road leading to the settlement and the step-like hillside behind it. On the other hand, in the triangle of the sea, the horizontal organization is evident in the motifs of the sea, the promontory, the cloud formations and the far horizon. The two parts of the picture are also differentiated by their distinct colour scheme. The land is dominated by warm, earthy hues, while the sea is rendered in a colder palette of blue tones. However, each part includes patches of colour from the other in almost equal proportion, enriching the work without jeopardising its compositional balance." "In Santorini, the lucidity of the Cycladic atmosphere makes the light seem harsh and impressive; the landscape is sparse, luminous, barren; the architectural volumes are small, white, plastic with soft curves and straight lines. Here, Maleas strives to capture the genuine elements of the Cycladic landscape, eliminating the sense of depth and rendering the far off volumes as pronounced as the nearer ones. He works on the contrasts in both colour and form: he blinds with the white; he delves into the blue; he lets the work breathe though the warm, earthy tones; he doesn't hesitate to use black for shadows. He underscores the sculptural effect of the structured environment imposed on the textured quality of the natural surroundings. These two elements, free of symbolist priorities, coexist for the first time in the work of Maleas. For the first time, the composition's syncopated rhythm enables human creations to not be overwhelmed by those of nature. Relying on a system of forms, the work fully reveals not just an image but the actual essence of the natural and architectural landscape. By capturing the uniqueness of the then remote Cycladic landscape, Maleas introduces its glorification, destined to become a defining aspect of the image of Greece. The "white and porous middle of day," Elytis's well known verse from Axion Esti that marked the relationship of light with Cycladic nature and architecture in the Greek poetry of the 60s, existed in Greek painting as early as 1925 in the works of Maleas." Unanimously acknowledged as the great Greek master of landscape painting, Maleas travelled extensively in mainland and insular Greece during the 1920s, venturing to penetrate into the inner world of this age-old land, become part of its reality and then recompose it with freedom and creativity. "Wherever he discovered a viewpoint that met his aesthetic criteria, he immediately engaged in an exhaustive discourse with nature that didn't end before he captured all its chromatic brilliance and radiating poetry." "The sense impressions he gathered during these travels are orchestrated in a poetic dream, reflecting not the world of appearances but the way he wanted to see, feel and experience the natural environment." . A. Kotidis, Constantinos Maleas [in Greek], Adam editions, Athens 2000, pp. 215, 224, 227, 229, 230. . S. Lydakis, Constantinos Maleas [in Greek] in The Greek Painters - 20th Century (vol. 2), Melissa editions, Athens 1975, pp. 61-62. . D. Papastamos, The Representation of Nature by Constantinos Maleas [in Greek] in Constantinos Maleas, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery - Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens, 1980, p.13.
Auction: Bonhams -May 17, 2011 - LondonLot number: 6
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Constantinos Maleas (Greek, 1879-1928) Analatos signed in Greek (lower right) oil on card 28 x 48 cm. Painted c. 1918-1920. PROVENANCE: D. Lambrinopoulos collection, Athens. Private collection, Athens. EXHIBITED: Athens, Beaches of Attica, 1920 (possibly). Athens, National Gallery and Alexander Soutzos Museum, MaleasRetrospective, 1980, no 89. LITERATURE: Stelios Lydakis, The Greek Painters - Dictionary, MelissaPublications, Athens 1976, p. 241 (illustrated). Antonis Kotidis, The Painter C. Maleas, doctoral dissertation,Thessaloniki 1982, pp. 128-129 (referred), fig 5.35(illustrated). Antonis Kotidis, Maleas, Adam Editions, Athens 2000, p. 156-157(illustrated). A strikingly beautiful painting featured prominently in a two-pagespread in Maleas' essential monograph by A. Kotidis, Analatos perfectly justifies the artist's reputation as thequintessential master of the Greek landscape. Using richly layered, dynamic brushwork and strong colours, Maleaspainted the coastal stretch by focusing on nature's colours,shapes, patterns and textures as integral elements to his pictorialarrangement. His artistry created a dynamic tension between natureand abstraction, between surface pattern and depth, which is akinto the teachings of Cezanne who exhorted painters to look forsolidity and treat their subjects in terms of primary geometricforms to discover their enduring character and essentialcontent. Following in the steps of the modern French master, Maleas wishedto show the natural environment not only as coloured patterns oflight that would have satisfied an impressionist eye, but also tocommunicate his perception of their volume, mass and structure.(Compare N. Lytras, Landscape , lot 28, painted around thesame time.) Similarly, he endeavoured to transcend impressionism inthe rendering of space, suggesting recession into depth not bydiminution of tonal contrast but through arrangement of form in asequence of planes. While painting the landscape in front of himwith complete directness, Maleas did so with a deeply layeredunderstanding of the landscape as a complex entity, entrusting hissubject to the truth of vision and venturing to penetrate into itsinner world, become part of its reality and then recompose it withfreedom, creativity and paganistic fervour. Instead of merelydepicting a landscape, this restless, expressionistic work conveysthe impression that we are witnessing the process of itsbirth. Relying on purely painterly means rather than resorting to theexotic or the picturesque, the artist conveys his emotionalresponse to the landscape, translating an austere stretch of landsurrendered to the glaring light and luminous shimmer of theatmosphere, into a powerful visual language of form and colour. Oneof the finest examples of Maleas' art, which may have been includedin his 'Attic Seashore' exhibition at the Zappeion Hall in March1920, Analatos is discussed by A. Kotidis as follows: "Thepainting has an overall curvilinear design, while the arrangementof the various forms is handled also in a curvilinear manner,particularly in the ground or in the large chromatic zonesrepresenting the sea or the background land. The distant forms areas lucid and vivid as the ones in the foreground. The intensecolour juxtapositions are matched by contrasts in the organizationof the pictorial field. As a result, contrary to the rich layers ofpaint in the background, the surfaces closer to the viewer arecoated with a single layer, while certain spots are left unpainted.This 'play with the support' that leaves some areas of the card raw-a well known Nabis trait, can be seen as a lingering formalelement that always fascinated the Greek painter. Together withCoast, Seashore landscape (private collection) and Seashorelandscape (National Gallery, Athens), Analatos representsone of the most expressively intense moments in Maleas' artisticcareer." A. Kotidis, Constantinos Maleas [in Greek],Adam publ., Athens 2000, p. 152. See also A. Kotidis, ThePainter C. Maleas [in Greek], doctoral dissertation,Thessaloniki 1982, pp. 128-129 and F. Politis, "Review of Maleas'one-man show at Zappeion Hall", Politeia daily, 2.4.1920.
Auction: Sotheby's -May 9, 2011 - LondonLot number: 2
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LOT 2 KONSTANTINOS MALEAS GREEK, 1879-1928 OLIVE TREES, MYTILINI signed lower right oil on canvas 80,000—120,000 GBP 53 by 83cm., 21 by 32½in. signed lower right Private Collection, Athens At the beginning of the 20th century, painters such as Maleas,Parthenis and Papaloukas endeavored to create a genuine and modernform of plein air painting. Using as his models FrenchPost-Impressionism, Fauvism and Nabis Symbolism, Maleas tried tocapture the ideosyncracies of the Greek light and the varyinglandscapes of his homeland. Often executed outdoors with spatulason small pasteboard or wooden panels, Maleas' poetic landscapesfeature a supremely gestural approach.Maleas travelled to Mytilini in the 1920s and it is likely thepresent work was painted during one of these trips. According toAntonis Kotidis, at this time 'The material character of colour,with marks of his gesture, was abandoned. On the contrary, tonalitywas adequately strengthened. Then the prime, brilliant colours wereplaced in a flat, "dry" manner on pasteboard or wood. This was bynow a Mediterranean form of painting where flat depiction and theabolition of atmospheric perspective in combination with the vividcolours played the main role... During this period his one and onlysubject, landscape, underwent a broadening that transformed it intoa thematic framework: the symbolist, pantheistic character of hiscompositions through the anthropomorphic elements of the landscapeand their compositional remouldings make his figurative ambiguityall the more manifest. Similar elements of symbolist distortion hadalready formed a tradition in the works of Van Gogh, Matisse,Lacombe, and Hodler while they were also used during the sameperiod by Parthenis and towards the end of the Twenties, byPapaloukas.' (Antonis Kotidis, '20th Century - The First ThirtyYears', in Marina Lambraki-Plaka, ed., Four Centuries of GreekPainting, Athens, 1999, p. 123).