House on Hydra, c.1929-1931
Michael Economou was an outstanding figure in Greek art in the inter-War period. Although he had initially trained as a shipbuilding engineer in Paris, where he went in 1906, he later turned to painting, where he developed an entirely personal style, in spite of the influences of the French post-Impressionist painters which can be clearly seen in his work. He lived for 20 years in the French capital, though frequently visiting the interior of France, Brittany or the Mediterranean coast in the south - favourite destinations for French painters such as Cézanne and Matisse - but he also visited Algeria and Tunisia. He remained in France until 1926, when he returned to Greece. Oikonomou worked exclusively in landscape painting, which he rendered with marked temperament, which reflects a sui generis psychological make-up.
The House on Hydra was painted in the period 1929 - 1930. In this work, the water, the sky, and the mass of the mountain which surround the building are mere pretexts for the study of the atmospheric translucency and of the reflections - preoccupations which predominate in the artist's work. The fisherman's house, bathed in light, dominates the centre of the composition, while a differentiated use of colour distinguishes it from the rest of the landscape, which serves the perspective rendering.