Charcoal Pencil portrait of Nikos Kazantzakis by Ioanna Kostopoulou. The portrait is drawn in profile with NK holding a pipe to his mouth with his right hand. The figure is composed with a tan base on which dark charcoal details have been scetched and shaded and thick white highlights are used to accent the shading. He is set against a black background with abstract/unintelligible writing in brown. the black area around him is slightly darking implying a shadow.
The picture is set in a thick gold painted wood frame. On the bottom of the frame two plaques idnetify the figure as "Nikos Kazantzakis." In the bottom right hand corner the artist signed their name "Ioanna Kostakopoyloy.
This picture was bought in Crete in the 1960's by the Donor's sister, Pauline Zantatcos. The artist claims that Kazantzakis sat for the portrait.
Nikos Kazantzakis, born in Crete in 1883, was a Greek writer and philospher most famous for his novel "Zorba the Greek." 1988 Martin Scorsese released "The Last Temptation of Christ" based on NK's book of the same name. His stories explore internal conflict between spiritual and earthly desires and existential themes that were eachoed in Post WWII Europe. NK was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946 but lost by one vote. He also led a leftist (but not communist) political party in the 40's.
Most Greek artists are taught to make charcoal drawings of ancient greek staues as a way to learn about form and hone technique. While charcoal drawings are primarily treated as a teaching tool or stepping stone to other mediums, it is an artistic form in its own right. Charcoal is also manufactured on Crete.
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Picture, National Hellenic Museum, https://collections.nationalhellenicmuseum.org/Detail/objects/9971. Accessed 10/18/21.