First Steps - Iakovidis Georgios

Iakovidis Georgios (1853 - 1932)

First Steps, 1892

Oil on canvas, 140 x 110 cm

Ε. Koutlidis Foundation Collection

Inv. Number Κ.199
On view Main Building

“The First Steps” is one of Iakovidis’ best-known and loved works. The scene is set in a Bavarian village home interior, bathed in the light pouring through the open window. Dressed in dark cherry tones, the grandmother is holding the blond baby, full of courage and smiling, taking its first steps in the world, on top of a wooden table. The grandmother has left her red knitwear in a corner. Note this dash of red colour in Iakovidis’ works; we have also seen it in his teacher, Nikephoros Lytras’ paintings. The baby’s elder sister, seated with her back towards the foreground, is waiting to receive the baby with her arms open in a protective gesture. Note also the effect of the light on figures: All white and blond, the baby is dazzling. It thus becomes the symbol of emerging new life. The incoming light, on the contrary, illuminates the girl’s outline, lining it with a bright aura. The work exudes life and elan vital.
First shown at the Glaspalast exhibition in Munich in 1892, this painting marks a key change in Iakovidis’ work regarding his interpretation of light. The natural light floods the scene as it comes through the window, adding vibrancy and ambiance.