Allegorical Scene, 1862
Born in Cephalonia, Nikolaos Xydias for purposes of study originally followed the same road taken by his fellow-countrymen to Venice and Rome. However, his final destination was Paris, where he settled and lived for some 30 years, and where his artistic activity was prolific. Profoundly influenced by the painting of the 'Second Empire' - which gave expression to a constantly rising bourgeois class - he dealt in subjects inspired by antiquity. Equipped with a perfected technique and knowledge of the first quality and mixing with ease with the upper social class, to which he belonged, he also produced a large number of portraits and still lifes, subjects popular and familiar in the society in which he moved.