Collection's title

Palace of the Popes at Avignon, 1914

Palace of the Popes at Avignon, 1914
Palace of the Popes at Avignon, 1914
Galanis Dimitris
(Athens 1879-Paris 1966)
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Wood-engraving (velo)
Gift of Dimitrios D. Tsamis
Undoubtedly, The Palace of the Popes at Avignon is one of the most important works by Dimitris Galanis, certainly the crowning engraving of his early, Cubist period, and without doubt one of the works / symbols of modern Greek engraving, which influenced Greek print-makers as no other did. It was produced in August 1914, when Galanis was in the city of Avignon as a volunteer in the French army and drew on the spot this imposing palace with the groups of soldiers of the Foreign Legion in its forecourt. As to the number of copies of this work, there are disagreements, because it has been proved by those that are to be found in different collections that the woodcut was printed twice, in 20 (collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Copy No.: 18/20) and 25 copies (collection of the National Gallery, Copy No.: 24/25), respectively. There is the view that the work was printed again in 1928 in Athens, on the occasion of Galanis's visit. Be that as it may, in this work features such as contrasts between the illuminated and the dark surfaces, the bold use of the diagonal, the different handling of the items in the foreground and the second plane are combined. More specifically: contrary to the usual custom, the foreground is heavily shadowed, while the particularly brightly lit elevation of the palace on the second plane dominates the picture. The differing degrees of lighting are determined by the stressed diagonal, and the light, again contrary to usual practice, emphasises the stylised masses of the soldiers on the right, while flattening the group in the background on the left. The space is defined by means of a logic which involves many Cubist features and is highlighted through the solutions provided by the particular engraving of the wood.