Admiral Sakellariou, c. 1940
After serving his apprenticeship at the Athens School of Fine Arts, Oumvertos Argyros continued his studies in Munich, where he lived for more than 20 years (1906 - 1929), a period during which revolutionary changes in art were taking place there, leading to the appearance of Expressionism. On his return to Athens, he was elected professor at the School of Fine Arts, and in 1959 was made an academician. In following the trends of the period towards depicting open-air scenes, he moved on to an upsurge in the use of colour; with time, this became more marked as his colours became explosive, without, however, reaching the point of the distortions which the German Expressionists had arrived at. In parallel with his outdoor scenes, Argyros also concerned himself with the depiction of interiors with female nudes in private moments, and was particularly engaged in portraiture and scenes from the war of 1940.
The portrait of Admiral Sakellariou must have been produced at the time when Argyros went to the front and, commissioned by the Government, painted war scenes. In this work, the inner world and the character of the subject are fully portrayed.