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Rare painting by Pol Georghiou and masterpiece by Nikiforos Lytras on auction

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Rare painting by Pol Georghiou and masterpiece by Nikiforos Lytras on auction

88. Christoforos Savva.jpg 6 11 2024

    Cypria is honored to present a rare painting from the mature period of the exceptional Cypriot artist George Pol Georghiou (Lot 75, EST €45,000 – 90,000) and a masterpiece from the 19th century by Greek artist Nikiforos Lytras (Lot 44, EST €150,000 – 250,000) in the upcoming auction https://cypriaauctions.com/current-auction/on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at 8:00 PM, at Gallery K, Strovolos, Nicosia.

    Both works are expected to be highlights of the auction, offering a rare opportunity for collectors and art enthusiasts to acquire pieces by significant artists from Cyprus and Greece.

    In total, 157 lots will be auctioned by Cypria, including a still life by Christoforos Savva (Lot 88, EST €22,000 – 35,000) and a painting by the Italian Giuseppe Lorenzo Gatteri (1829 – 1884) titled Bragadin Refuses to Surrender Famagusta to the Turks ( Lot 55, EST €15,000 – 25,000).

                          The Exceptional Case of Untitled by Pol Georghiou

    Rare painting by Pol Georghiou and masterpiece by Nikiforos Lytras on auction

    Untitled, Pol Georghiou, Acrylic on chipboard, 101 x 122 cm – Estimated Price: €45,000 – 90,000.

    Part of the uniqueness of Untitled lies in the fact that it was created during the artist's mature period. During this time, Pol Georghiou appears to experiment with modernism, attributing sculptural values ​​influenced by Fernand Léger to his forms. This experimentation with modern painting is vividly captured in Untitled, making it a fascinating example of Pol Georghiou’s mature artistic journey.

    Marina Stefanides, art critic, describes the painting: “Pol Georghiou presents a seemingly ordinary bucolic scene centered on a seated Cypriot peasant woman. However, the scene transforms into a transcendental dance where the animals and background figures resemble archaic Cypriot idols. The space, enveloped by the fiery-golden hue of an idealized wheat field, acquires a new, completely transcendental dimension. This space is dominated by a timeless quality and reaches an enigmatic crescendo of protest, embodied in the standing figure with the raised hand.

    The painting seems to be connected to the epic work Rebirthwhich was exhibited along with 219 works, including those of Pol Georghiou that had been in the occupied northern territories of Cyprus since 1974 and were returned to the Republic of Cyprus. The same sculptural attributes and symbols narrate the history of Cyprus from antiquity to the depiction of agricultural life and the British occupation of Cyprus.

    Unlike Pol Georghiou’s epic storytelling in Rebirth, this painting is not constrained by an epic or Homeric narrative, thus gaining greater artistic freedom. The forms breathe freely in the simplified composition of Untitled, allowing the viewer to choose their own interpretations and references. At the same time, the naked, rounded female form alludes to the archetypal female figure that later transformed into the endemic Aphrodite of Cypriot antiquity.

    George Pol Georghiou (1901-1972) is known for his vibrant depictions of Cypriot life and culture. His works are distinguished by their vivid colors and expressive forms, capturing the essence of rural and traditional life. This work highlights Pol Georghiou’s ability to blend the everyday with the extraordinary, creating a scene that is both familiar and otherworldly.

                      The Masterful Bride to Be by Nikiforos Lytras

    Rare painting by Pol Georghiou and masterpiece by Nikiforos Lytras on auction

    The Bride to Be, 1874-1875, oil on canvas, 74 x 58 cm – Estimated Price: €150,000 – 250,000.

    Dr. Nelly Misirli, art critic, believes this particular work by Lytras is the first of two known versions of the work The Bride to Be. The second was sold at Christie's, London in 2009 under the title A Moment of Rest. The authenticity of the work was confirmed by Dr. Nelly Misirli, who in 2002 confirmed that the painting was created in Munich, a center for Greek painters of the Munich School, between 1874 –1875.

    The Bride to Beexemplifies Lytras’ mastery and his exceptional ability to capture the essence of Greek cultural heritage. The painting depicts a young woman seated with a commanding yet vulnerable presence, embodying what art critics have described as “Doric solidity.” The background, with its ever-changing light, creates an enigmatic ambiance that both projects and transforms the female figure, enveloping her in an almost ethereal glow.

    Nikiforos Lytras (1832-1904) is often referred to as the father of Greek painting. He was a significant Greek painter of the Munich School and played a crucial role in the development of genre painting in Greece. His works are distinguished by their meticulous attention to detail, emotional depth, and cultural significance.

         Bragadin Refuses to Surrender Famagusta to the Turks

    Rare painting by Pol Georghiou and masterpiece by Nikiforos Lytras on auction

    Bragadin Refuses to Surrender Famagusta to the Turks, Oil on canvas, 40 x 55 cm, 62 x 78 cm (with frame) – Estimated Price: €15,000 – 25,000.

    In this rare work, the renowned historical themes painter G.L. Gatteri masterfully captures the tragic yet heroic episode of Marcantonio Bragadin’s defense of Famagusta during its siege by the Turks in 1570-71. Bragadin, the steadfast Venetian commander, is depicted in a moment of unyielding resolve, refusing to surrender the city despite the desperate pleas of its inhabitants. Gatteri's painting not only honors Bragadin's valor but also serves as a poignant reminder of the brutal consequences that followed. After eleven months of resistance, Bragadin was forced to capitulate, only to face inhumane tortures leading to his death, along with the massacre of the city’s Christian inhabitants.

    One of the interesting aspects of this work is its rarity in terms of subject matter. While many works celebrate Greek victories against the Turks during the period of the Greek War of Independence, Gatteri's piece stands out as one of the very few that highlight the Venetian resistance against the Turks in a historic period of Cyprus. The inclusion of a female figure on the right, possibly personifying Cyprus, adds a layer of symbolic significance, contrasting with the inhabitants on the left who plead for surrender. This rare perspective enriches the narrative of Cypriot and Venetian resilience and heroism, offering a unique visual representation of a significant historical event.

         Still Life in Front of a Window

    Rare painting by Pol Georghiou and masterpiece by Nikiforos Lytras on auction

    Still Life in Front of a Window, oil on canvas, 68 x 68 cm, 75 x 86 cm (with frame) – Estimated Price: €22,000 – 35,000.

    In Christoforos Savva’s painting Still Life in Front of a Window, illustrated on page 270 of Eleni S. Nikita’s “Christoforos Savva: The Beginning of a New Era in Cyprus Art,” the artist masterfully balances between modern and decorative art. Despite the crowded composition, the overall impression is one of simplicity and tranquility. This painting marks Savva’s ability to create a sense of space through the strategic use of color.

    Savva employs a palette of reds, yellows, greens, and blues, which not only add depth and perspective but also infuse the scene with a sense of happiness and calm. The colors are thoughtfully placed, guiding the viewer's eye and establishing a harmonious balance within the composition. The window serves as a functional element of the painting, with an abstract figure emerging behind it, inviting viewers to decode it by creating their own interpretations and narratives.

    Despite the modernist approach, there are naive elements that create a flat dimension contrasting with the otherwise dynamic use of space.

    Auction Details:

    Wednesday, June 19

    Gallery K, 14 Evrou Street, 2003 Strovolos, Nicosia

    Viewing Dates:

    May 29 – June 19

    Monday to Saturday 9:00 am to 8:00 pm

    Sunday 11:00 am to 6:00 pm

    Wednesday, June 19, 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

    Written Bids/Telephone Bid

    You can place a written bid or request a telephone bid for the items you are interested in through our website www. cypriaauctions.com.

    Live Online Bidding

    Available via www.invaluable.com and www.drouot.com

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