Konstantinos Volanakis was born in Crete in 1837. He moved with his family at an early age to the island of Syros, where they established themselves in the bustling port of the island. There he finished his preliminary studies and in 1856 he moved to Trieste on the coast of Italy where he worked as an accountant at the sugar firm Aphentoulis.
His talent and passion for seascapes and observations of vessels became apparent to his employer when he found numerous sketches of boats, ships and the docks in his employee's ledger books. Rather than fire him, his employer encouraged him to take up painting as a profession.
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