XYDIAS Nikolaos (1826-1909) “Allegorical Scene”, 1862

Allegorical Scene (1862)

Nikolaos Xydias, a painter born on the island of Cephalonia, initially followed the same route of study taken by his compatriots, to Venice and Rome. However, he ended up in Paris, where eventually settled and lived for nearly thirty years as a highly productive artist. Profoundly influenced by the painting of the `Second Empire,` which spoke for an emerging urban class, he became interested in themes inspired by antiquity, in which mythological or allegorical scenes, while comprising ideals of virtue and ethical grandeur, were nevertheless simply pretexts to skirt the feigned modesty of a licentious society. `Allegorical Scene` is one of the first paintings that Xydias made in this vein. A superb master of technical skills and knowledge who moved with ease within the upper classes to which he belonged, he painted a great many portraits and still lifes, subjects favored by and familiar to his social milieu.