Friday, November 21, 2008

Théodore Jacques Ralli

Théodore Jacques Ralli (1852-1909)
La Prière avant la communion à Megara/Praying before the communion at Megara 1890
signed and dated 'Ralli 90' (lower right)
Oil on canvas
60.4 x 93.4 cm.
Private collection

Theodore Ralli was the one of the most prominent Greek artists of the 19th century, who painted in a strongly Academic vein and enjoyed considerable success at the Paris Salon, where he exhibited in the 1870s.

Ralli used this painting to represent him at the Paris Salon of 1890

Ralli travelled extensively in Greece.

In 1876 Ralli returned to Greece from Paris and visited the towns of Megara, Thebes and Arachova, along with other parts of mainland Greece faithfully recording the countenance and traditional costumes of the Greeks.

It is not a form of "spectator Christianity": the young girl looks at the viewer; the viewer is brought into the act.