Thematic exhibition

Seascape painting

Seascapes and beaches in modern Greek painting
Φάρος,  Λύτρας Νίκος, CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 GR
National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum

For seaside people like the Greeks, the sea has been a source of inspiration and creation for thousands of years.

37 centuries ago, the artist who painted the famous miniature frieze of the Fleet at Akrotiri in Thera was impressed by both the aquatic element and the fleet that sailed, a symbol of the conquest of man of this environment. Modern Greek painting is known for the multitude of its seascape paintings. Leading representatives of seascape painting are Konstantinos Volanakis, who faithfully follows the Munich School and academic tradition, and Ioannis Altamouras, who leans towards impressionism.

But other modern Greek artists too, such as Nicholaou, Maleas, Parthenis, as well as famous foreigner artists such as Aivazovsky, paint the calm seas of the Mediterranean, the tumultuous seas of Crimea, bathers in sunbleached beaches or lonely boats floating or seeking refuge in seaports. Other artists get their insporation from the naval battle scenes, others are captivated by the sea at night, while thunderstorms are a favorite subject and an opportunity for the artist to experiment with capturing a terrifying natural wonder.