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Athens: The Acropolis



Jean Dufy (1888-1964)
Athens: The Acropolis
oil on canvas
AGLC 437 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Jean Dufy visited Greece many times, but it was probably during a more extensive sojourn in October 1955 that this view of the Acropolis of Athens with the ruins of the Parthenon, one of the most famous landmarks in the world, was painted. Like many tourists who wish to capture the site of the Parthenon together with the city of Athens, the painter climbed the slopes of Philopappou Hill, justifiably dedicated to the Muses, in order to paint this evocative panorama. As he often did, the artist, embracing all at once the constituent elements of his subject, recomposed his vision in order to render it more expressive: the ruins stand firmly against a luminous sky, in contrast to the background of darkened hills and the flashes of red in the foreground. Painted approximately thirty years after the other two Jean Dufy canvases in the A. G. Leventis Collection, this landscape, which belongs to the final years of the artist’s career, displays the same qualities as the earlier works: an unerring sense of layout and balance of the composition; a rapid line; and a dynamic and bright palette.

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About the artist

The younger brother of Raoul Dufy (see below), he moved in 1912 to Montmartre. Until after World War I, when he could paint in earnest, he earned a living by making designs for textiles and porcelain, which he continued to do throughout his career. He quickly reached a mature style, characterised by balanced compositions, sketchy graphic details and transparent, bright tones. In his oil paintings and watercolours, he depicted musicians, flowers, interiors, harbours, landscapes and cityscapes, most especially of Paris.

More paintings of the artist
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