The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

March 13, 2016

March 13, 1849

Pericles Pantazis (March 13, 1849 to January 25, 1884) was a Greek impressionist painter.

He studied under Gustav Courbet, and perhaps this painting of peasants breaking ice
 reflects that.  Les Briseurs de glace is not derivative; it is an impressive work of art.

Pantazis did not follow the pattern of Greek artists in the 19th century. That context, typified by Ottoman style and religious iconography, was breaking up when he went to Paris. According to this survey of 19th century Greek art, most aspiring artists at that time settled in  Munich.

I am not sure when he painted this lovely portrait. He had settled in Belgium where he was part of a circle that included Guillaume Vogels, and Louis Dubois, who like him had studied with Gustave Courbet.  One reads his work was well received  in Belgium.  The portrait is by a major talent --- that cat is posed realistically and the child is not a figment, but was once well loved. 

Pericles  Pantazis was typical sadly of his century in that he died young, of tuberculosis. 

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