Iakovos Rizos, who studied in Paris, expresses the spirit of the Belle Epoque, that is, of the art developing in Paris around 1900. Beautiful, elegant women portrayed in luxurious palaces or gardens are the main theme of his paintings. This is a pleasant, straightforward painting.
Painted in 1897 and receiving the silver medal in the 1900 Paris World Fair, the “”Athenian Evening”” is one of the most charming works dating from the late 19th century. The work expresses the mood of euphoria and well being characteristic of the wealthy bourgeois life in the late 19th century. On the terrace of a neoclassical house in Plaka, a handsome Cavalry officer is reciting verse to the delight of two beautiful Athenian ladies who are listening to him enchanted. A sweet sunset envelops the Acropolis in its orange veils in the background, infusing the forms and smelting them into the atmosphere. The work may ignore schools and Impressionist doctrines, yet it conveys a contagious poetic effect that speaks to the heart.