PARTHENIS Konstantinos (1878-1976) “Portrait of Georgios Averoff”, 1896

Portrait of Georgios Averoff (1896)

A student work by Konstantinos Parthenis, this portrait was painted shortly before he departed Alexandria for Vienna. By the age of just eighteen, the artist had already acquired a solid education and knowledge of painting techniques, which he no doubt gained from his teacher Annibale Scognamiglio. Perhaps he proposed that Parthenis paint this portrait, since Scognamiglio was a well-known painter of the Greeks community in Alexandria. It could not have been commissioned by the great benefactor, since we know that the Parthenis family did not have particularly close ties to the Greeks of Alexandria. Most likely, it was simply a student exercise from a photograph. This photograph of Georgios Averoff was widely distributed and published in the periodicals of the day, and was reproduced by other painters, such as Pavlos Prosalentis, who painted the large portrait in the Averoff Museum.