IAKOVIDES Georgios (1853-1932) “Portrait of Pavlos Melas”

Portrait of Pavlos Melas

After returning from Munich, Iakovides painted dozens of portraits of persons of high standing in Greek society, He always made the same effort to render facial features faithfully in combination with those particular characteristics that created the sitter`s personality. The portrait of Pavlos Melas in his officer`s uniform must have been done around 1904, the same period that the Countess Louisa Riancourt commissioned Iakovides for a portrait of the hero in an insurgent`s uniform, to present to his widow. Pavlos Melas, imposing, imperious, and full of confidence, is depicted standing, from the knees up, occupying the entire height of the picture. Self-sufficient in his space, he is portrayed on the pale background in his dark, formal officer`s uniform without any supplementary clues to indicate his personality – a characteristic of academic idealization in portrait painting. Although Iakovides departed from the realistic formulations of the previous decades, he nevertheless was always concerned with rendering the sitter’s personality and the way in which it imposed itself on the space.