Folk Games - Hatzikyriakos-Ghika Nikos

Hatzikyriakos-Ghika Nikos (1906 - 1994)

Folk Games, 1937

Oil on canvas, 53 x 40 cm

Donated by the Ministry of Education

Inv. Number Π.2898

Folk Toys” is a tribute to the simple yet charming and inspired toys of lower-class children. Made of petty materials – paper, wood, clay – and imaginatively coloured, they were in no way inferior to the mechanical or porcelain toys of upper-class children, of which a member was the painter himself. An abacus, a wooden guitar hanging on the wall, a flowery Aegina vase, a cardboard mask, an acrobat performing his balancing act on top of a multicolour column, and other humble yet beautiful objects lie on array on the table — enter the magical world of a Greek child of old. Yet, all this is not enough to make such an enchanting and poetical a painting as this. How did the artist achieve this magical effect? By using a luminous colour palette without any use of chiaroscuro, that is, without contrasts of highlight and shade. Colourful objects project light greenish shades against a wall painted in light bluish green. The entire scene seems to be like lingering nostalgia – the lost innocence of childhood revisited as if in a dream.