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George Constant

Seated Figure

In 1910, George Constant moved to the United States from Greece to study art. He enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis and later moved on to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he briefly studied under George Bellows. The model for Seated Figure, painted in Rockport, Massachusetts, was Calliroe Lekakis, Constant’s third wife. Throughout his career he had an interest in the human form, the female nude in particular, as well as in depicting intimate and familial relationships. It has been suggested that Constant was influenced by Greek icons, as evident in the stylized faces and deep, large eyes typical in his work, including Seated Figure.

The watercolor exemplifies his figural work of the 1930s and early 1940s. The single resting figure, arms folded and legs close together, occupies the whole page and seems confined by the space. She turns her gaze slightly away from the viewer. With simple, defining lines and spare modeling, the image is largely monochromatic except for the slight blush along the figure’s left cheek, which may suggest modesty but certainly gives the image a quiet vibrance.

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