Memory of Albania, 1985
After studying painting in free academies in Paris, where he went after completing the course at the School of Chemistry of the University of Athens, Vourloumis produced water-colours, oils, temperas, drawings, and icons. He is one of the painters who turned towards a Greek form of painting, portraying the beauty of everyday life, without metaphysical involvements or an anxious desire to achieve originality, but with a boundless respect for bringing out the autonomy of his subject. His 'Greekness' was not related to a return to the values of centuries of history and culture as that was experienced by the artists of the 'generation of the '30s' who were in Paris, but to the need for a profound understanding of everyday happenings, which he rendered by means of the purity and mildness of the colour tone, which is transubstantiated by the sun and the light. His painting, filtered through the French experience of the post-Impressionists, takes on a spirituality which is a calm affirmation of life, an exaltation of the lowly and unimportant through the sincerity of a pure vision.
In Memory of Albania, which is a repetition of an earlier picture, the progress of a mounted soldier to the front in the Greek-Italian War of 1940 is depicted. Painted in 1985, it is rendered with greater freedom than the earlier work, as many features, such as the hands of the horseman, the blanket which he is holding, and the surrounding landscape are depicted by faint brush-strokes, without details, as if time had brought about a fading of the memory. As is often the case with Vourloumis's painting, the composition fills up the whole of the work, so that its impetus is towards the outer world, in a total identification of the soldier with the rugged environment, an identification which is also stressed by the use of drab colours in the same shades on the soldier, the horse, the ground, and the mountains.