Dimitrios Vikelas - Sochos Lazaros

Sochos Lazaros (1857/1862 - 1911)

Dimitrios Vikelas, 1892

Marble, 43,5 x 27 x 25 cm

Inv. Number Π.5787

Lazaros Sochos, an artist with a neoclassicist education, was the first Greek sculptor to continue his studies in Paris rather than Munich or Italy. Living during a transitional period for modern Greek sculpture he did not completely reject neoclassicist influences, but rather combined them with realistic elements and his own personal idealistic perceptions which went hand in hand with the more general spirit of the times.

Busts, as a thematic entity, sparked his interest to a great degree. In contrast, however, to the customary sterile and lifeless style which was often encountered in such works, the busts done by Lazaros Sochos were exceptions to the rule in their endeavor to give a psychographic rendering of the person depicted. The bust of Dimitrios Vikelas, who played a leading role in the organization of the first Olympic Games in Athens in 1896 and the anastylosis of the Panathenaikon Stadium, and whom Sochos got to know during his residence in Paris, is rendered in a realistic manner, while a tendency to idealize the figure is expressed as well. The clear brow, the eyes, the cheeks, the beard, the hair and the chest are moulded with soft surfaces and fluid outlines, in keeping with Rodin’s style, who dominated the artistic forestage during the period Sochos was in Paris. The bareness of the chest, conversely, and the circular base are remnants of his neoclassicist education.