IAKOVIDES Georgios (1853-1932) “Portrait of Queen Sophia”, 1915

Portrait of Queen Sophia (1915) Oil on canvas

This portrait was found in Iakovides` possession upon his death. He had hoped in vain to sell it an effort to solve his financial problems, which were particularly harsh during the period 1928-1930, when his son traveled to America. His bibliography mentions that Iakovides painted a portrait of the Queen in 1917, of commission from the Ministry of the Army. Either the Ministry never received the portrait it commissioned, and Iakovides predated it for his own reasons, or this painting has nothing to do with this commission – a portrait that for reasons unknown was never received by the Palace. In this painting, which was made ten years after the `Portrait of Pavlos Melas,` Iakovides attempted a more complex composition, introducing certain elements that he believed would give it a more modern look. Following the manner of depicting the figure, familiar from earlier portraits, he allows the light, which comes from a specific source, to highlight the Queen`s face, bust, and lavish garments. At the same time, by creating an opening on the left of the balcony with a view of the Acropolis and the violet rays of sunset, he attempted at least to suggest a plein-air picture.