Portrait of an old man
Spyros Vikatos, after his time at the Athens School of Fine Arts, continued his studies at the Academy in Munich, where he remained for almost the whole of the first decade of the twentieth century - a period at which great changes in art were taking place there, with the prevalence of a sui generis German Impressionism and the appearance of Expressionism. In adopting a milder version of German Impressionism, he used broad, abrupt, full brush-strokes to render his subjects. Exploiting the contrast between light and shadow, he created large dark surfaces, from which those points to which he wished to give more emphasis stand out with particular brightness, lending a dramatic character to his works. This manner of expression is particularly well suited to his subject-matter, in which the - mostly aged - human figure, shown as melancholy and thoughtful, predominates. It was in precisely this way that his portraits in the Averoff Gallery, which come close to an approach that explores the pysche and aims at evoking an emotional charge in the beholder, were produced. Although Vikatos was one of the last champions of the academic realism of the Athens School of Fine Art, at which he taught for 20 years (1909 - 1939), as a personality, he gained recognition with affection and respect from his fellow-artists.