Painted initially in 1937, after his return to Greece and while he was editor of the Third Eye, Ghika left the composition unchanged but considerably enriched the detail when he reworked it in 1971.
Beginning and ending his life in Greece, Nikos Hadjikiriakos-Ghika began his artistic scholarship under Konstantinos Parthenis in Athens, relocating to Paris to enrol at the Sorbonne, the Ranson Academy and the studio of Dimitris Galanis. This erudite, well-travelled and sophisticated background would nourish a hungry mind, open to the concept of an analytic and mathematical form of modernism. This visual vocabulary owed much to the methodical teaching of Parthenis, with its emphasis on geometric principles, the Byzantine art that Ghika cherished, incorporating its 'strictness, the geometric, hierarchy,' and the work of artistic luminaries of the Parisian modernist enclave such as Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque (in Marina Lambraki-Plaka, ed., Four Centuries of Greek Painting, Athens, 1999, p. 139).
Ghika's impressive oeuvre typifies the Greek early twentieth century preoccupation with creating pictorial languages at once international and quintessentially Greek. Indeed, as Fani-Maria Tsigakou has pointed out, Ghika's 'geometrical spaces (...) are often imbued with metaphysical significance. In his open-air scenes he stresses the Greekness of nature by alluding to classical and oriental pictorial traditions. In his sparklingly coloured and carefully composed landscapes he not only managed to capture the dazzling Mediterranean light, but also introduced a modernist spirit into viewing the classic Greek landscape.' (Fani-Maria Tsigakou, Nikos Hadjikyriacos-Ghika, Grove Art Dictionary).
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