At the beginning of the 20th century, painters such as Maleas, Parthenis and Papaloukas endeavored to create a genuine and modern form of plein air painting. Using as his models French Post-Impressionism, Fauvism and Nabis Symbolism, Maleas tried to capture the ideosyncracies of the Greek light and the varying landscapes of his homeland. Often executed outdoors with spatulas on small pasteboard or wooden panels, Maleas' poetic landscapes feature a supremely gestural approach.
Maleas travelled to Mytilini in the 1920s and it is likely the present work was painted during one of these trips. According to Antonis Kotidis, at this time 'The material character of colour, with marks of his gesture, was abandoned. On the contrary, tonality was adequately strengthened. Then the prime, brilliant colours were placed in a flat, "dry" manner on pasteboard or wood. This was by now a Mediterranean form of painting where flat depiction and the abolition of atmospheric perspective in combination with the vivid colours played the main role... During this period his one and only subject, landscape, underwent a broadening that transformed it into a thematic framework: the symbolist, pantheistic character of his compositions through the anthropomorphic elements of the landscape and their compositional remouldings make his figurative ambiguity all the more manifest. Similar elements of symbolist distortion had already formed a tradition in the works of Van Gogh, Matisse, Lacombe, and Hodler while they were also used during the same period by Parthenis and towards the end of the Twenties, by Papaloukas.' (Antonis Kotidis, '20th Century - The First Thirty Years', in Marina Lambraki-Plaka, ed., Four Centuries of Greek Painting, Athens, 1999, p. 123).
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