024. KONTOGLOU Fotis (1895-1965)

024. KONTOGLOU Fotis (1895-1965)

‘Theodoros Kolokotronis the old man of Morea and Andreas Miaoulis the new Themistocleus’

Signed titled & dated eggtempera on plywood 30×27 cm

€ 2.500 – 3.500

A unique portrayal of two of the leaders of the 1821 Greek Revolution: the Greek commander-in-chief Theodoros Kolokotronis as the ‘Old man of Moreas’, and the shipowner politician and admiral Andreas Miaoulis (Andreas Vokos), depicted here as the “new Themistocleus”. In this painting, Fotis Kontoglou, among the most emblematic of the 1930s generation who influenced with his work and stance a whole generation of Greek artists, uses his own language to modestly portray the two protagonists of the events of the Greek Revolution of 1821. Through content derived from the renewal of his relationship with tradition he challenges the artistic modernity of his century by drawing elements from the Byzantium and the Eastern tradition. The reference to Miaoulis as a new Themistocleus connects with Greek tradition since his place of burial in Athens was said to be close to the tomb of the Athenian politician and general Themistocleus; meanwhile, it alludes to the magnificence of the struggle with the triumphant past and the ancient grandeur of the classical history of the Greek nation. Both figures are depicted in full, as in Byzantine hagiography, constituting a unique sample of its fusion with popular painting. The figures are almost frontally portrayed, sartorially harmonized with the role and status of each fighter, symbolizing perfectly the agonistic archetypes of the Commander-in-Chief Kolokotronis and Admiral Miaoulis. Although rendered with simplicity vividity and truth, the forms appear both grand and shorn of any material concern, inspiring awe for the revolutionary struggle, awakening and activating our national conscience.

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