The Harbor of Kalamata - Parthenis Konstantinos

Parthenis Konstantinos (1878/1879 - 1967)

The Harbor of Kalamata, 1911

Oil on canvas, 70 x 75 cm

Donated by the Ministry of Transport

Inv. Number Π.488
On view Main Building

The “Harbour of Kalamata” introduces us to the poetic and lyrical atmosphere of Parthenis’ painting. What can we see in this painting? A quay with benches and a red lighthouse at the end. A ship with open sails painted yellow. A violet mountain in the distance. And a sky with faint clouds, in which we find once again, in softer tones, the colours of the sea and the mountain. The entire work is lightly painted, allowing the spaces between the colour areas to breathe. The harmony of colours is based on the interplay of blue-purple and yellow-orange. In other words, a conversation between cool-warm and complementary colours. The composition is based on the large horizontal line of the sea, the vertical lighthouse and the diagonal quay. The ship with open sails balances the weight of the elements that would otherwise be heavier to the right.

Although the quay has been drawn in perspective, in fact the painting has no depth. This is because there is no atmospheric perspective, as it was called by the old painters. In other words, the more distant objects — the quay further in the distance, the mountains — have not been painted using fainter tones in order to suggest distance. In modern painting, the artist seeks to keep the image within the canvas plane, avoiding the illusion of three-dimensionality.