ECONOMOU Aristeides (1823-1887) “Portrait of Achilles Postolakas”, 1847

This painting depicts the numismatist Achilles Postolakas, the subsequent founder and director of the Athens Numismatic Museum, during his student days in Vienna while he was also working to organize the numismatic collection of the Austrian Court. This is an early work by Aristeides Economou. Born in Vienna, with excellent studies in his homeland and at the Venice Academy where he was awarded repeatedly, he worked primarily in portraiture. His portraits are distinguished for their crisp drawing and a crystalline translucent rendering of detail. This leads to the technique of Biedermeier, a style that prevailed in Germany and Austria in the first half of the 19th century. The portrait of Achilles Postolakas may take this approach, although the attempt to portray the sitter`s inner world through his radiant gaze distances it from the chilly expressions in Biedermeier, and, despite the micrographic detailing, the work has a warmth and vigor.