We would like to thank Dr Kostas Didaskalou for authenticating this work on the basis of a photograph.
Nikolaus Gysis was the most influential and prestigious Greek painter of his time, and his oeuvre covers a wide variety of subjects, including allegorical and mythological scenes. The present work is one of his earliest allegorical compositions. It has been suggested that it represents an early draft for a poster, possibly advertising Munich's First International Exhibition in 1869 or the Second International Exhibition in 1879, in which Gysis participated with the unfinished painting "Art and its spirits". In the National Gallery in Athens there is an oil sketch with this same title (Inv. Nr. 550) which displays similarities to the present work.