Portrait of Amalia Landerer-Averoff, c.1879
Ioannis Doukas studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts and then at the Munich Academy with Von Piloty; he was subsequently a pupil in Gérôme's studio in Paris. A painter with a large number of exhibitions to his credit, both in Greece and abroad, where he lived until 1876, he devoted an important part of his attention to portraiture, while at the same time concerning himself with mythological and historical subjects, biblical compositions, and allegories.
The Portrait of Amalia Landerer-Averoff, daughter of the Bavarian Professor of Chemistry at the University of Athens, Xaverios Landerer, and wife of Michael Averoff (grandfather of the founder of the Gallery), must have been painted in 1879 or a little before. We are led to this conclusion by a mention in the Ephemeris newspaper of 22 June 1879, in which the portrait of Mrs Averoff received praise when it was exhibited in the Nakis bookshop. The picture "shows the fine features and life of the subject by means of strong and warm colour. Passers-by halt before the picture in admiration of the likeness and its vitality. Mr Doukas has the ability of applying the colours with sureness by his brush, and of giving a dark aspect to the beauty of the background in his pictures, and thus extolling the radiance of the figure, encapsulating, as it were, the movements of the whole of life in one moment.