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 Jean Altamura  (1852 - 1878)

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Lived/Active: Greece      Known for: marine, seascape painting

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Ioannis Altamouras is primarily known as Jean Altamura

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from Auction House Records.
Breaking the waves
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Bonhams Bond Street:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Sailing ship in the port of Copenhagen is one of the extremely scarce works by Altamura, a short-lived but exceptional seascape painter who by the age of 24 was already an acclaimed and highly paid artist enjoying the full support of the Greek Royal Court.

As noted by E. Kypreou, who included this outstanding painting in the artist's major retrospective at the Benaki museum in 2011, "Altamoura produced only a few works and none of them is mediocre. At a time when an attorney in law was being paid fifteen drachmas for a court appearance, a canvas by Altamoura was purchased by the then Ministry of Marine Affairs for 2,000 drachmas."1

In 1873, Altamoura won a scholarship from King George I that enabled him to pursue graduate studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. As noted by Kypreou, "in Copenhagen his mind opened up. Starting out with his experience of the Greek light and the Greek landscape, he blended them with the metaphysical light of the European north. He lowered the horizon like an old Flemish master and rested the sky on the ground."

1. E. Kipreou, Jean Altamouras, a Tempestuous Life [in Greek], Kathimerini newspaper, 28.6.2009, p. 15.

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