Portrait of Zoe Kambani - Kounelakis Nikolaos

Kounelakis Nikolaos (1829 - 1869)

Portrait of Zoe Kambani, ca 1862

Oil on canvas, 78 x 62 cm

Georgios Trapantzalis Bequest

Inv. Number Π.1209
On view Main Building

The Cretan artist Nikolaos Kounelakis studied in St Petersburg but lived and worked in Florence, where he was inspired by the great masters of the Renaissance, such as Raffaello, as well as the neoclassicism of his contemporary French artist Ingres, also related to Florence. Both artists, Raffaello and Ingres, sought to capture the ideal figure.
Zoe Kambani was the artist’s fiancee. She is shown putting her engagement ring around her finger, against a solid dark background, her eyes dreamy, as if lost in tender anticipation of love. An opened love letter on the table with the flower vase is the only additional element in the painting. The girl’s comely face, softly modelled, and her plain blue dress underline the classical character of the work.