“In this variation, the landscape in the background takes on greater importance and with its sharpened rocks it appears much more aggressive. Diamantis had no use for the objective elements of the welcoming and familiar Cypriot landscape and takes us to a place which is antirealistic, inaccessible and hostile.
Alongside the self-evident symbolism, the sheer rocks, which seem split in two, evoke a less obvious symbolism which equates the suffering of the Cypriot people to the Divine Passion, assisted by nature: ‘and the earth shook and the rocks split,’ said Matthew (27:51).
The careful observer of the work will identify in this particular rendering of the landscape affinities with the rocky landscape in which Leonardo da Vinci placed the Virgin and Jesus in his work “The Virgin of the Rocks”, additional proof of Diamantis’ diachronic contact with Leonardo’s work. The circular, rotary direction of the subjects sends the visual message of an impasse and a return to the starting point. The primary figures are placed in an environment of conflicting forces. This aim of the artist is particularly evident in some of the drawings, in which these forces are expressed in indistinct lines going in different directions. The transcending of visual reality, with the antirealistic features of the figures, the colour and the rendering of the landscape, point to the artist’s transition from external space to the expression of mental states and symbolism.”
– Dr. Eleni S. Nikita, From the catalogue of the exhibition “Agonies – Diamantis”
Agony III, 1967,
oil on canvas,
91 x 127 cm,