CM: Perhaps the Portrait of Greek Sailor is more convincing than others of the status of Voliot society with its localist particularities. In photographing the 'bourgeoisie' of Volos, Stournaras distances himself from the stillness that characterizes this period's portraits and often creates 'tableaux vivants' (living pictures), taking advantage of the painting sensibility, which he had formed during his apprenticeship with Lytras. The portrait has been taken with relaxed staging, as revealed by the sitter's intensely deep gaze that turns away from the lens. A gentle touch of light - likely gaz - beautifully captures the uneasy face with its diligent hairdo. When looking at this face, it is worth considering that only a few years ago, in 1897, Greece had suffered a defeat in its encounter with Turkey. The agony for the future is eloquently portrayed in the eyes of the present sailor. Aside of that, let it be noticed how this particular portrait suits the oval shape of the print - the composition's periphery embraces the subject with a feel for naturalness. The obscure background and the dark naval suit with the black scarf are appropriately succeeded by a rhomboid composition with the open collar that accentuates the sailor's head.
ELEFTHERIOU, MANOS & XANTHAKIS, ALKIS Stefanos Stournaras: The Saint of Photography / Nikos Anagnostakis Collection 2007 Archipelagos Editions, Athens