Composition I - Moralis Yannis

Moralis Yannis (1916 - 2009)

Composition I, 1949 - 1958

Oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm

Donated by the artist

Inv. Number Π.7691
On view Main Building

According to Yannis Moralis himself, “”Composition I”” introduces the artist’s series of Funeral Compositions. He has revealed that he dreamt this scene and captured it on paper as soon as he woke up so that he could take it up at a later time. Funeral Compositions are inspired by Attic funerary stelae, with which they share certain characteristics: In stelae, two or three figures are depicted — one of them seated, identified with the deceased — also in a depthless setting. Their pose is meditative, expressive of restrained sorrow. In Moralis’ funeral compositions, women of a young age prevail, as they do throughout his work. The “”Mystery Villa”” in Pompey is another of his sources of inspiration.
Here, the setting is defined by the door frame and a mirror hanging on the wall. The depth is just enough for the table to fit, against which the seated, meditative and sorrowful girl is leaning. The other nude girl has already half-opened the door, about to leave. This is a hint of death. The work has been sketched in forceful, assured outlines, which moreover serve to suggest volume, as chiaroscuro is totally absent. The colour harmony of the cherry-red wall and the yellowy ochre door, against which the light pink flesh of the nude bodies projects, is effective and free of all superficiality.