India’s only daily art newspaper

Remembering the father of Greek seascape painting



The Greek painter who is considered as the “father of seascape painting” Konstantinos Volanakis died on this day, 29 June 1907. He is regarded as one of the most appreciated seascape painters of the period after the Greek War of Independence and considered as an authentic representative of the Munich school.


Born on 1837 at Heraklion on Crete, he got his first exposure to art while working as a book-keeping clerk for a family of Greek merchants. There he made sketches of ships and harbours in his account books. Later with the support from his family he got himself enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, under the guidance of Karl von Piloty. At the academy he got to interact with students such as Nikolaos Gyzis, Georgios Lakovidis and Nikiforos Lytras.


Overcoming the portraiture as well as the moralistic thematology, dominant traits imposed by this specific Art School, he evolved his profound love towards landscape and especially seascape. His turn towards landscape painting occurred in 1869 when he won a drawing competition held in memory of Battle of Lisa and organised by Emperor Franz Joseph. He got rewarded with 1000 gold Florins and free travel cruises with the Austrian navy for three years and produced numerous canvases and sketches of seascape during those times.


Volanakis’s most significant paintings include; The Port of Volos, The Fisherman’s Home on the Beach, The Departure, Pulling in the Catch and many more. His most outstanding ‘Naval Battle of Salamis’ which depicts the famous ancient naval battle between an alliance of Greek city states and the Persian Empire, traditionally hangs in the office of the Prime Minister.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *