ALTAMOURAS Ioannis (1852-1878) “Sailing Vessels”, 1874

Sailing Vessels (1874)

During his three-year stay in Copenhagen, Ioannis Altamouras was exposed to the new pleinairist and early-Impressionist tendencies that emerged during the second half of the 19th century, and assimilated their main features. He joined the Skeen group, which painted the countryside around the city, attempting with them, though the direct observation offered by on the spot painting, to capture at a given moment in time the image of a perpetually changing nature. In `Sailing Vessels and Steamboats,` nature`s mutability, seen in the constantly moving clouds, the rippling surface of the sea, and the ship`s smoke being blown by the wind, is rendered through the light reflected on the waves and the foam. Although the painter did not take the final step of dissolving the bright tones and outlines of the ships, by liberating himself from detailed description and by fusing color and form, he arrived at the impression of a totality. By marking the precise date its execution on the painting, Altamouras wished to declare that this specific image corresponded to a given moment in time.