The Beautiful Adriana of Athens - Theophilos (Chatzimichael)

Theophilos (Chatzimichael) (1873 - 1934)

The Beautiful Adriana of Athens, 1930

Thinned oil (?) on canvas, 92 x 43,7 cm

Inv. Number Π.6829
On view Main Building

The “”Beautiful Adriana of Athens”” is playing her guitar, seated underneath a cherry tree laden with fruit, in a garden adorned with plants in bloom in which a peacock goes about. Adriana’s hair is loose, and she is wearing beautiful, colourful clothes. The scene is enclosed in a painted red frame. There are some drawing mistakes, yet the qualities that made critics and painters consider Theofilos a modern artist are here to admire. The folk painter rejects the third dimension, just like modern painters. The image develops without perspective, on the surface. Note for instance how each flower pot is painted one behind the other. The most distant pot is simply placed higher up. Not smaller, neither rendered in perspective. The clear outlines define the boundaries of colour.
Theofilos’ treatment of colour is admirable. Every colour is vivid and kept within the same dense tone. It is this that gives the surface its unity. The ochre on the ground and the girl’s blouse, tinged with red shades, the blue skirt, the light blue socks with blue shades, the blue sky, all create a lush harmony enchanting the viewer.