Yiannis Moralis (Greek, 1916-2009) Angel leader 80 x 80 cm.
Lot 25AR
Yiannis Moralis
(Greek, 1916-2009)
Angel leader 80 x 80 cm.
Sold for £50,000 (US$ 67,473) inc. premium

Greek Sale

10 Apr 2017, 14:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

Lot Details
Yiannis Moralis (Greek, 1916-2009)
Angel leader
signed in Greek and dated '1979-80' (lower right); signed and dated also on the reverse 'Yannis Moralis/Athènes Grèce/1979-80' and titled (on the stretcher)
acrylic on canvas
80 x 80 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private collection, Athens.

    Literature
    Yannis Moralis, Commercial Bank of Greece Group of Companies edition, Athens 1988, no. 263, p. 265 (illustrated).
    I.Moralis, Angels, Music, Poetry, exhibition catalogue, Benaki Museum, Athens 2001, no. 157, p. 133 (illustrated).


    Angels and winged figures, frequently portrayed with just one wing, is a recurrent theme in Moralis's art (compare Composition, Bonhams Greek Sale, 15.5.2007, lot 122; Zephyros, Bonhams Greek Sale, 28.4.2015, lot 40). Here, Angel leader revives an archetypal universe of serene rhythms dictated by the classical sense for human scale, echoing the timeless values of Greek art. As Nobel laureate O. Elytis once said of Moralis, "memories and encounters are repeatedly distilled until they blend into forms of great simplicity and precision."1

    Rejecting any kind of religious or psychoanalytic import lent to the subject, the artist notes: "I do not include angels on purpose. It's their form that interests me. In certain cases the design can be highly abstractive, as for example in Guardian angel. Here, the form of the figure made me think: "Angelos Protostatis [Guardian Angel of the highest rank], like the one in the Annunciation. So, this form turned up and I liked it. Maybe because an angel posed for me once!"2

    Moralis' output from the late 1970s and early 1980s is distinguished by monumentality of form, complexity of design, solid compositional structure and poetic line. Reviewing the artist's work from this period, Professor C. Christou notes that "we overhear an internal dialogue between warm and cool colours, active and passive themes, hard and soft forms, fluid and fixed lines, all of which contrive to create an astonishingly expressive effect. Moralis remains true to the human figure, notwithstanding that he portrays it in such a simplified and schematic manner that it takes on the appearance of a mere suggestion."3

    One of the most eminent Greek artists and a painter of consummate technical ability, Moralis treated form through the use of generalized contours, achieving his analytical aim through discipline and faith in his means of expression. "A longing for the monumental has always driven the painter's hand to organize and balance his forms on an intellectual edifice, bestowing on even his most sensual conceptions a feeling of mystery and a Biblical sense of the sacred"4, notes the Nobel Laureate O. Elytis.

    1. O. Elytis, preface to the Moralis exhibition catalogue [in Greek], Iolas-Zoumboulakis Galerie, Athens 1972.
    2. Y. Moralis, Angels, Music, Poetry [in Greek], exhibition catalogue, Benaki Museum, Athens 2001, p. 155.
    3. C. Christou, Moralis, Adam editions, Athens 1993, p. 33.
    4. O. Elytis, preface to the Moralis 1972 exhibition.
Activities
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