Cypria will hold a fine arts sale on December 16 at its premises in Nicosia. This season’s auction features a vibrant range of styles, movements and mediums from Cypriot, Greek and European Artists of the 19th through to the 21st century.
Leading the sale are exceptional and rare artworks by Cypriot avant-garde artist Christoforos Savva, Greek 19th century portraitist Andreas Kriezis and Greek contemporary painter Christos Caras. Ceramics is proudly represented by a powerful earthenware turned pitcher created by Pablo Picasso and executed in an edition of 200 by the famed Madura workshop.
The collection of 124 offerings encompasses 112 paintings, sculptures, ceramics, etchings, sketches, lithographs woodcuts, engravings, and 12 rare maps.
Artworks include impressive and rare pieces by important and beloved artists. Included among them are Polykleitos Rengos, Spyros Vassiliou, Angelos Makrides, Charalambos Valentinos, Katy Stephanides, Agenor Asteriadis, Demetris Konstantinou, Marcos Kampanis, Renos Loizou, Zoe Zengelis, and Rhea Baily.
The Cypria Fine Arts collection will be on public view in Gallery K beginning December 7. The auction will be held on December 16.
Pablo Picasso Petite Chouette edition of 200, stamped Madoura Plein Feu D’Apres Picasso, white earthenware turned pitcher h. 12.9 cm d.11.9 cm (est €6 000 – 9 000)
In 1946 Pablo Picasso (1881 – 1973) began a collaboration with the famed Madoura ceramicists. This collaboration spanned 25 years and resulted in roughly 3500 ceramics of various forms created by Picasso and produced and sold by the Madoura workshop. Picasso’s subjects included mythological figures and animal shapes. Petite Chouette (Little Wood-Owl) is a miniature earthenware turned pitcher created in 1949 and executed at the Madoura workshop in an edition of 200. Picasso had a personal connection with owls and had one as a pet in his studio. Petite Chouette is roughly the size of his pet owl, about 5 inches. Picasso was drawn to this mysterious nocturnal predator whose archetypal symbolisms included divinity, death and ill omens. Petite Chouette, is a rare and exceptional piece, playful yet powerful.
Christoforos Savva Abstract Composition V 1964- 1966 oil on hardboard, 40 x 29 cm (est €15 000 – 25 000)
The artistic discourse of subtle cubist and abstract elements with naïve and folk art motifs is central to the work of Christoforos Savva (1924 – 1968) whose escape from representations of realism in Cyprus’ emerging art scene in the 1950s-60s had made him a cult-like figure. Savva painted Abstract Composition V 1964- 1966, towards the end of his life, approaching his theme of a town from a top view angle, aptly using perspicuous, monochromatic colour forms to achieve abstraction. Flat spaces imbued with folk motifs and hidden cubist elements are distinctive features of the artist’s signature style.
Christos Caras Nymph and Vase with Flowers oil on canvas, 108 x 172 cm (est €18 000 – 25 000)
This work belongs to the artist’s period of rendering elements of objective reality in a poetic way. The dreamlike imagery and strange symbolisms of the painting are central to the artistic development of Caras. The painter (b 1930) studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts under Yannis Moralis and at the Paris School of Fine Arts. He has an important presence in the Greek contemporary art scene and has been instrumental in revitalizing painting in Greece.
Andreas Kriezis The Portrait of Pantaleontas Costaki oil on canvas, 65 x55 cm (est €12 000 – 18 000)
The appearance at auction of The Portrait of Pantaleontas Costaki after remaining for years in a Greek private collection is a major rediscovery. Kriezis (1813 – 1880) is an important Greek artist known for his psychologically charged portraits of which only a few survive. He studied painting in France yet the rigidity of his portraiture bears semblances with the austerity of the Munich School which he possibly acquired after befriending Francesco Pige. The Portrait of Pantaleontas Costaki with its hard lines and emotional intensity is a trademark painting of Kriezis.
Polykleitos Rengos (painted on both sides front image Spoudi sto Aspro reverse image I Protoplasti oil on canvas, 81 x 64 cm) (€8 000 – 15 000)
The painting’s bottle, empty cup and bread hint at a frugal meal characteristic of the artist’s penurious years in Paris. Spoudi sto Aspro (Study in White) is a metaphysical still whose dramatic imagery and subtle shifts bear semblances with Morandi. Rengos (1903 – 1984) lived in Paris from 1930 until 1935 where he studied wood engraving under Demetrios Galanis and painting at the Academie de la Grande Chaumière. He experimented with 20th century currents but also embraced the religiosity and artistic style of the byzantine tradition. He is widely known for his use of different media, such as his Mount Athos wood engravings, as well as his mastery in depicting everyday life scenes.