Couple - Raftopoulou Bella

Raftopoulou Bella (1902 - 1992)

Couple, 1976

Stone, 200 x 64 x 30 cm

Inv. Number Π.6033
On view National Glyptotheque

A student of Antoine Bourdelle, Bella Raftopoulou fashioned her own style combining the doctrines received from her teacher, as well as a variety of influences taken from both traditional and contemporary sources. Her favorite subjects were human figure, for the main part, as well as animals or birds, on a more limited scale, works of large dimensions, which were carved directly into stone. Initially working in a realistic manner, her style became gradually more abstract, the figures more schematic and the compositions tectonic based on geometric and organic elements and rendered with flat curved surfaces. Furthermore, the empty space in some compositions contributes to the creation of the overall impression.

The “Couple”, one of her last works, is characteristic of this point of view. Obviously inspired by the “Kiss” by Constantin Brancusi, it is built on three roughly worked pieces of stone, which are interrupted only by the empty spaces between the legs, the body and the faces of the figures. Rendered with an especially emphatic form of schematization, the two figures create the impression of complete union, while the differentiation of the female from the male body is expressed in a completely schematic way, as the middle part is curved on one side to suggest the curve of the female body.