Return from the Fair - Lytras Nikephoros

Lytras Nikephoros (1832 - 1904)

Return from the Fair, ca 1865-1872

Oil on canvas, 100 x 66 cm

Ε. Koutlidis Foundation Collection

Inv. Number Κ.106
On view Main Building

Nikephoros Lytras is considered as the founder of the Munich School. Appointed as Professor at the School of Arts in 1866, upon his return from Munich, he helped shape generations of Greek artists.

Here is one of Nikephoros Lytras’ characteristic genre paintings. A family – the father, the mother and their two children – are on their way back from a holiday on Mount Penteli. It is wintertime, as the trees are bare. Everyone is in their special holiday costume. The father is playing the lute, riding the donkey, which is decorated with colourful blankets. A wine flask hangs from the saddle. The mother follows on foot with her youngest child on her shoulders, a cookie from the feast in its hand. The eldest son walks by the mother, accompanying the lute with his flute. A gleeful dog is in front of them. The merry procession is climbing down the hill towards the viewer. It feels as if they were about to come out of the painting and enter our own living space. Their mood is contagious, and the vibrant colours, white, red, black and gold are in harmony with the joyous atmosphere of the scene. Nikiforos Lytras has masterfully and meticulously rendered it, capturing the character and mood of each figure.