“In 1963, Diamantis delivered the second part of the series, “Agony II”. Six studies of this composition were found, in which we can see that Diamantis gradually played down the role of the central figure of “Agony I” by bringing to the forefront the two secondary figures, until he completely did away with it in the final study.
In the foreground, two terrified female figures are trying to escape. Symbolically, one is holding a child and the other a baby goat. The earthy, red colouring of the bare parts of their bodies is reminiscent of red-fi gure vases and Minoan frescoes, contrasting with their illuminated white garments. The two figures are set against a dark, inaccessible, utterly arid mountain landscape, which becomes even more frightening with the turbulent sky in the background portending a storm.
The stifling, antirealistic, exitless and inhospitable space is of prime importance in the rendering of the subject. Symbolic value is also attributed to the lighting of the work, especially the contrast between light and darkness; life and death. The composition contains a spiritual, transcendental element that draws the viewer into a contemplative process.”
– Dr. Eleni S. Nikita, From the catalogue of the exhibition “Agonies – Diamantis”
Agony II, 1963,
oil on canvas,
91 x 127 cm,
Joan Diamantis Collection