05/05/15

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Théodore Ralli | Orientalist Academic painter



From a well-known family of Chios, Greek painter Théodore Ralli or Theodoros Rallis / Θεόδωρος Ράλλης (1852-1909) worked for a brief period in the commercial house of Rallis-Mavroyannis in London, but abandoned his entrepreneurial career and settled permanently in Paris, at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
There he studied painting under the Academic teacher and Orientalist painter Jean-Leon Gerome until approximately 1880.
In 1873 he took part in the Salon des Refuses.


From 1875 to the end of his life he participated without fail in the official French Salons, the World Exhibitions of Paris -1878, 1889 - silver medal, 1900 - outside competition, member of the critical committee of the Greek division- as well as many other exhibitions both inside and outside France.

In Greece he won the silver medal at the Olympia Exhibition of 1888 and at the International Exhibition of Athens in 1903.

In 1885, the year he won honorable mention at the Salon and the Cross of the Savior in Greece, he acquired French nationality.

He repeatedly visited Greece as well as many Middle Eastern countries, drawing from them the subjects for his paintings.
He also had a studio in Cairo where he spent the winter months from the end of the 1880s till 1904, developing noteworthy artistic activity, which included the organizing of yearly artistic exhibitions.
In 1900 he was awarded the decoration of the Knight of the Legion of Honor.
In 1910 the National Gallery received the Rallis Bequest, while a year later the Theodoros Rallis Prize was given for the first time in Paris and in 1912 the first Rallis Competition was held in Greece.


His works, mainly Greek Genre scenes and "oriental" subjects, are incorporated in the framework of the European Orientalism of the second half of the 19th century and are rendered in agreement with the precepts of Academic realism, while there are also a few brief attempts at using the insights of the more innovative trends. | Source: The National Gallery of Greece in Athens - Alexandros Soutzos Museum




From Wikipedia |Théodore Jacques Ralli or Theodorus Rallis (full name: Theodoros Rallis-Scaramanga; Greek: Θεόδωρος Ράλλης; Constantinople, 16 February 1852 - 2 October 1909, Lausanne) was a Greek painter, watercolourist and draughtsman, who spent most of his working life in France and Egypt.
He painted genre works, portraits, local figures, architectural subjects, interiors with figures and animals. But he is best known for his orientalist paintings.

Biography

He was sent to Paris under the patronage of King Otto of Greece and studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme, French painter and professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and under Jean-Jules-Antoine Lecomte du Nouy, both known for their orientalist paintings.
Ralli then travelled widely in North Africa and the Middle East, settling for a while in Cairo, Egypt. Here he found his inspiration for the romantic mysticism and suggestive sensuality of his many orientalistic paintings. His other genre paintings were often nostalgic recollections of the life and customs of his Greek homeland, which he portrayed with a delicate and moving reverence.
His paintings were elaborated with great attention to detail, with great attention to costumes and facial expressions. The varying light sources in his paintings such as rays of light, candles, or the glowing embers in the fireplace are rendered in soft colours.

Rallis first exhibition was at the Salon in 1875. From 1879 he regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.


He was a member of the Société des Artistes Français, where he received an honourable mention in 1885, and a silver medal in 1889 for his whole work He exhibited his paintings in the Salon de Rouen (1897, 1903, 1906 and 1909) and also in Athens during the Olympic Games of 1896.

He also served as a member of the competition jury in 1900 at the Exposition Universelle.

In 1901 he became a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur.

After his death he was slowly almost forgotten. It is telling that his name is not even included in the Grove Dictionary of Art. Most of his paintings are still in private collections. Only a few museums ever purchased his works. A few of his paintings were auctioned in the 20th century, but only obtained modest prices. However lately, his paintings have been rediscovered and are being auctioned at prices that are a tenfold of some years ago, fetching prices from 30,000 to 100,000 euros.

On 14 November 2007 a study for the painting “Refectory in a Greek Monastery (Mount Athos)” was auctioned at 200,000 euros at Sotheby's in London.
But in January 2008, the actual painting “Refectory in a Greek Monastery (Mount Athos)” (1885) was auctioned at the absolute record price of 670,000 euros to a Greek collector at an auction in Ghent, Belgium.

This was followed by the sale of his oil on canvas, titled 'Praying before the communion at Megara' (1890), at the Greek Sale, Bonhams, London W1, held on 25/5/2008. It achieved a staggering hammer price of £600,000. (See Bonhams own catalogue, re. 'The Greek Sale' of 20/5/08, Lot 36, p42-45, four pages of illustration.)










Theodoros Rallis / Θεόδωρος Ράλλης - Pittore, nato a Chio il 16 febbraio 1852, morto a Parigi il 2 ottobre 1909. Studiò a Parigi, dove lavorò per tutta la vita, salvo lunghi viaggi in Oriente e in Grecia, ma i soggetti di quasi tutte le sue opere sono puramente greci, come La bergère endormie, La veuve, Dans l'église, Le mamos, À la fenêtre de la prison, L'encens, Le cierge, Le premier soufflet, Sur le lit, ecc.
Il R. espose parecchie volte ai Salons parigini riportandone premî e menzioni onorevoli. Le sue opere piacquero molto al pubblico e furono ricercate dagli amatori. La Pinacoteca nazionale d'Atene ne possiede gran numero, e tra esse alcune delle migliori. | di Alexandros Philadelpheus, © Treccani Enciclopedia Italiana

Rallis è stato membro della Società degli artisti Francesi, che lo ha premiato con la menzione d'onore nel 1885 ed una medaglia d'argento nel 1889.

Divenne anche un membro della Legion d'Onore, e nel 1900 è stato membro della giuria del Salone Internazionale di Parigi. Nel suo testamento lasciò alcune opere della Galleria Nazionale.