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Peasants in an Ox-drawn Cart



Ioannis Kissonerghis (1889-1963)
Peasants in an Ox-drawn Cart
watercolour on paper
AGLC 493 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Farmers in an ox drawn cart is a genre piece inspired the plein air tradition. It depicts a typical scene from the life of farmers in the first half of the 20th century, when they still using the same traditions and methods that their ancestors had used for centuries.The artist renders the scene in a realistic manner, and we can see his interest in and focus on detail. The skilled draftsmanship of the piece holds the same significance as the choice and use of colour. With calm brushstrokes, the artist constructs the piece with the harmonious contrast of cold and warm colours and the delicate relationship of light and dark. The low horizon allows the work to open upwards and the horizontal arrangement of subjects creates a feeling of a peace and tranquility.

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About the artist

Ioannis Kissonerghis was born in Nicosia in 1889. He studied medicine for three years at the University of Athens, but interrupted his studies to take part in the Balkan Wars. After they ended in 1913 he enrolled in the Athens School of Fine Arts, where he remained for 1 ½ years.  However due to serious Illness, he had to return to Cyprus, where he taught at the Pancyprian Gymansium and The English School.  His art was very much influenced by his studies at the Athens School of Fine Art, where he was taught by professors that had been educated in Munich and had brought with them the artistic climate that prevailed there at the time.  His relationship with them is evident in Kissonerghis’ realistic approach, accomplished draftsmanship and detailed and skillful composition. Kissonerghis was particularly involved in watercolour. The greater freedom of line and the quicker speed that watercolour painting demands affected his style, helping to distance him from the various constraints of the academic tradition.

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