Robert, Martin Henry
Inscribed on wood verso: Chypre Famagouste [Cyprus Famagusta]
The oil painting in warm shades of yellow and green primarily tries to allude to the warm climate of Cyprus. In the background, the eastern part of the medieval Orthodox cathedral of the church of St. George of the Greeks stands against the blue sky. The artist chose to portray the Byzantine aspect of the Church by focusing on the three isles and the window of the sanctum, both characteristic features of Byzantine architecture. Further back, one distinguishes part of the Latin Cathedral of St Nicholas (Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque). In the foreground, a shabby construction of dry wood and vines suggests a refuge from the heat, almost adjacent to the church. Under this shack, the figures of a seated Turk in white robes and red fez as well as a woman in rather dark clothing act as reminders of the fact that Famagusta is inhabited predominantly by Turks. The shabby character of the shack, as set against the sturdiness of a monumental Byzantine construction, juxtaposes what the painter might perceive as the misery of an oriental present to the grandeur of a glorious past. The untidy layout of a temporary construction at the foreground of a most solid Christian establishment smacks of the same orientalist line which appeals to the taste of contemporary painters.
37 x 55 cm
Signed: Martin H Robert
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