Portrait of Marika Gounaropoulou
1931 | oil on hardboard
66 x 55 cm

Giorgos Gounaropoulos painted portraits throughout his career. His portraits depict members of his family, friends and acquaintances, prominent members of Greek bourgeois society and leading figures of his time, such as Eleftherios Venizelos and shipowner Leonidas Embiricos.

In his numerous portraits, the painter depicted the facial characteristics of his subjects with remarkable accuracy, albeit in his own distinctive style. Many of those whose portrait Gounaropoulos painted have noted that he was able to capture their features within a very short time and finish the painting later without using a photograph. Apart from their precision, however, Gounaropoulos’s portraits are also distinguished for their emotional insight and the portrayal of the subject’s inner self.

The portrait of his wife, Marika Gounaropoulou, is from their early years together, when the painter would visit Greece from Paris where he was living at the time. Marika emerges from a dark, undefined depth bright and ethereal, yet quite physical. Her dress alludes to a traditional costume and her youthful face, with its delicate features, is flanked by two long braids. This portrayal is likely connected to Marika’s participation in the Delphic Festivals.