Boy with Suspenders - Papaloukas Spyros

Papaloukas Spyros (1892 - 1957)

Boy with Suspenders, 1925

Oil on pasteboard, 60,5 x 51 cm

Inv. Number Π.3300
On view Main Building

The “Boy with Suspenders” was painted in Mytilene but takes into consideration the lesson in Byzantine iconography that Papaloukas received during his visit to Mount Athos. Here, Papaloukas confirms the axiom that one must approach tradition through the precepts of modern art. The painter builds the boy’s portrait in clear shapes, painting each form in the appropriate colour in order to achieve an effect of volume. In this painting, Byzantine iconography and mosaic meet Cezanne’s teaching (1839-1906). Face and skin colours are part of the Byzantine palette: ochre, raw and burnt sienna. It is in a similar palette that Papaloukas paints the boy’s exquisite striped shirt. The striped cloth on the table in the background is in cooler tones. The “Boy with Suspenders” reveals a great artist of assured technique, luscious colour and great sensitivity. The boy, looking at us with a puzzled look, his grey eyes and his red mouth half-open, is a psychological portrait of a village boy about to enter the trial of adolescence.