Piraeus - Asteriadis Aghinor

Asteriadis Aghinor (1898 - 1977)

Piraeus, 1973

Egg Tempera on panel, 202 x 122 cm

Donated by the artist

Inv. Number Π.4829
On view Main Building

Aginor Asteriadis was a descendent of what is known as the Thirties Generation in Greek art. These particular artists espoused the ideological stand that the creation of an authentic Greek art form required a combination the lessons of tradition with the teachings of modern art. In the case of Asteriadis, tradition meant Byzantine art, which he’d studied as a hagiographer, as well as folk painting, on which he’d written several books.
His monumental composition, Piraeus, is highly typical of his practice and influenced by decorative folk art. The cartographical organization of the space does away with perspective and the third dimension. The subject is depicted vertically with the three harbors of Piraeus in ascending sequence from Mikrolimano and Zea to the main commercial port of Piraeus. All the compositional elements are stylized to the point that they become ornaments. The dark blue sea has a lively dialogue with the ochre tones of the earth, whereas the white houses add a joyful note to the composition, which is characterized by a strong melodic rhythm.
Similar compositions and chromatic arrangements are encountered in the Illustration of the Battle of Makrygianni by Panagiotis and Dimitrios Zografou.