VOKOS Nikolaos (1859-1902) “Peasant Girl or Young Greek Girl”

Peasant Girl or Young Greek Girl

`Young Greek Girl` bears strong traces of Nikolaos Vokos` apprenticeship to Nikiforos Lytras at the Athens School of Art. He must have painted it during the last year of his studies, as evidenced in comparable works by other painters who studied with the master in the years 1871-1880. This painting depicts a young Greek peasant girl in the everyday dress of her region: long white blouse, brown vest, and wide red and black sash. Her pose is nearly frontal, her face thoughtful, her gaze melancholy. In this painting, like comparable works by his fellow students, the colors with their warm tonalities are those of his teacher, Nikiforos Lytras, whose subtle hues soften the emotional tension. However, it is not only the handling of color that connects pupil to teacher. Above all, it is the prominence of an isolated human figure on a dark, usually indefinable, ground, with emphasis on the clothing, objects and narrative motifs that accompany it. Despite the fact that in genre painting the artist`s principle objective is the recording of a specific moment in daily life, in the end, given the simplicity and inner truth expressed here, this painting addresses an ideal that is shaped by this visual formulation.