Your tour of the new Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation in Athens should start from the 4th floor… recommends the helpful Museum operator, and I hesitantly followed his recommendation. I was pleasantly surprised! An impressive “Bourgeois” Portrait of Basil and Elise Goulandris welcomed me, setting the tone for what I was about to experience.
Painted four years after Basil Goulandris’s passing, this eye-catching Portrait of the famous art collectors by George Rorris introduces you to the “atmosphere” that prevails in the latest cultural addition to the Athens Museum circuit! It’s grand, elegant yet understated. Basil Goulandris, clad in a dark suit, stands tall and aloof, staring at you intensely. Elise on the other hand, wearing the softest of pink, sits charmingly on an armchair and looks beyond you. They are surrounded by three favourite paintings from their legendary collection and a mirror that holds a secret worth exploring!
Little information is unfortunately provided by the Foundation on the “whats, the hows and the whys” of this painting. I hope, as time progresses, part of their “Permanent Collection” site will get richer with short descriptions and information on each and every one of their paintings. https://goulandris.gr/en/collection/works-of-art and https://goulandris.gr/en/artwork/rorris-george-portrait-of-basil-and-elise-goulandris
Basil and Elise Goulandris were known for their passionate love of the arts. They were avid collectors, famous for their superb “taste” and acute “eye.” ‘I spent months at a time with Basil and Elise when I was a child,’ says Fleurette Karadontis ‘they had no children of their own — they looked on the paintings as their children. The works were a genuine presence in their lives, a constant part of the conversation. Basil might suddenly say: look there, I never realised that the colour of the shirt in that painting is the same as the wall behind that still life. Or he would look at some cubist painting and ask: how many people do you see in it because I think there are three.’ https://www.christies.com/features/A-gift-to-Greece-the-Goulandris-Foundation-10209-1.aspx
For High School level student Activities on the George Rorris “Bourgeois” Portrait of Basil and Elise Goulandris… Click HERE!