Portrait of Eleftherios Venizelos, before 1936
Georgios Gounaropoulos was a figure who stood out in the world of modern Greek art. In an entirely individual manner, he created a form of painting which is marked by an eccentric relation between space and time, as he had known and experienced that in Surrealist circles during his residence in Paris in the 1920s. Dreamlike, archaising figures, in a cosmogonic space with imaginary dimensions, which the light swirls as in a circular tempest, make up the apocalyptic vision of the artist of a 'supra-worldly painting', in which the inner atmosphere holds together the totality of the different features which co-exist in the same picture, whether in terms of subject-matter – mythological figures, women, rocks, sea, the unseen wind – or of composition – patterns, forms, movement, light.
In spite of the fact that Portrait of Eleftherios Venizelos differs from the familiar subject-matter of the Gounaropoulos, the work is marked by an inner mood and atmosphere. Liberation from the insistent reproduction of the image leads the painter to the depiction of gifts typical of the great leader, such as calm or concentration. The work must have been painted before 1936, the date when the Patris newspaper closed and Eleftherios Venizelos died.