Lighting the Pipe - Savvidis Symeon

Savvidis Symeon (1859 - 1927)

Lighting the Pipe, 1899

Oil on canvas, 83 x 56 cm

Ε. Koutlidis Foundation Collection

Inv. Number Κ.118
On view Main Building

Born in Asia Minor, Symeon Savidis was an authentic Orientalist. This painting records the ritual of lighting the pipe. The scene is set in a characteristic interior in a luxurious palace. The old man with the turban and lush caftan is patiently waiting for the pipe to be lit by his slave with the exotic, Mongolian features and the colourful, patched clothes. His face is illuminated by the flames from the fireplace and the reflection of the coal blown by the servant. This has been one of the favourite subjects for painters since antiquity. Dark brown and red tones prevail in this scene, which invokes silence and recollection.