1947 - Greek Field Marshall & Prime Minister Alexandros Papagos Signed Portrait
A Perfect Storm - Famous Photographer - War Correspondent - General

PURCHASED BY THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE



Item Ref:  BSL - Alexandros Papagos
 

Future Field Marshall & Prime Minister of Greece Alexandros Papagos,
Signs and Appends a personal note to Walter Harrington Crawfurd Price, the noted Times War Correspondent and Author who covered Greece and the Balkans from 1910 through the 1920's.  This is also signed by George Boucas noted Photographer of Royalty and Embossed with his Studio Seal. A Scarce and Interesting Visual and Documented Convergence of Greek History.
 


      
Detail of Inscription

Georgios Boucas
Courtesy of American College of Greece www.acgart.gr

Alexandros Papagos -  Αλέξανδρος Παπάγος (1883-1955)
 

Historical Note

Born in Athens, Alexandros Papagos was a Greek Field Marshal who led the Greek Army in the Greco-Italian War, the later stages of the Greek Civil War, founded the Greek Rally Party (Ελληνικός Συναγερμός) and became the country's Prime Minister.  He studied at the Brussels Military Academy and Calvary School in Ypres and joined the Greek Army as a lieutenant in 1906.  In the First Balkan War he served as a junior officer on the General Staff of King Constantine. A dedicated Royalist, he was commissioned and de-commissioned several times over the succeeding years depending upon which faction was in power in Greece at the time. In 1927 he was returned to service with the grade of Major General. He was then promoted to Lieutenant General and later Corps Commander in 1934. In October 1935, as a Lieutenant General and Chief of the Army, along with the chiefs of the Navy and the Air Force, he helped topple the government of Panagis Tsaldaris and declared the restoration of the monarchy.

During the Second World War, Papagos successfully led the resistance to the Italian invasion but the divided Greek army eventually succumbed to the German invasion on April 6, 1941, Greek forces in Macedonia fiercely resisted the German offensive, but were outflanked and Papagos endorsed their surrender. Soon after the Army of Epirus capitulated and by April 23 the Greek government was forced to flee to Crete. Papagos remained behind and in July 1943, together with other generals, he was arrested and sent to concentration camps in Germany. In 1945 he was repatriated, rejoined the Army and reached the rank of full General in 1947. On January 29, 1949, he was once again appointed Commander-in-Chief, to defeat the Communists in the Greek Civil War, which he achieved, with extensive American aid, the deployment of Special Forces (LOK) As a reward, he, alone of all Greek career officers, was promoted to Field Marshal on October 28, 1949

In May 1951 he resigned from the Army, as to become involved in politics. He founded the Greek Rally (Ελληνικός Συναγερμός) and won the September elections with only 35% of the vote, largely due to his popularity, his image as a strong and determined leader, and extensive American support. Despite this victory, Papagos was unable to form a government, and had to wait until the November 16, 1952 elections, when, with a change in the electoral system, he gained 239 out of 300 seats in Parliament. Papagos' government successfully strived to modernize Greece (where the young and energetic Minister of Public Works, Constantine Karamanlis, first distinguished himself) and restore the economy of a country ruined by 10 years of war, but he did little to restore social harmony in a country still scarred from the civil war. The Athens suburb of Papagou, where the Ministry of Defence is located, is named after him

George Bougioukas was born in 1879 in Agia Paraskevi, a town of Mytilini on Lesbos Island. He was the senior of two other brothers, who were also artistic (Eustace became a photographer, while Costas became known as maker of popular poems). In 1896, at the brink of the Greek-Turkish war of 1897, when George was 17 years-old, he fled with his brother Eustace for England. While in London, George first studied in a school of painting, then turned to photography and worked for a photographic firm. He married an English lady and opened a photographic studio at 120 Mile End Road in the East End of London. At that time he founded the Geo Boucas firm which became very well known. In photography Boucas put into effect his skills in painting. Parallel to that he also made paintings, especially portraits in oil and charcoal. In 1912 he opened a studio in Smyrna, while retaining his London studio (the "Amalthia" newspaper of 8 January 1912 records the founding of its operation: "G. Boucas. PHOTOGRAPHER. (Just arrived from London). Masterful Workmanship, Machines Recently Invented. European Street (across Xenopoulou [Street])". The photographs of this period are stamped in English with thick red ink: "THE BOUCAS STUDIO. GEO BOUCAS SMYRNA AND LONDON". In 1914, when the First World War broke out, Boucas was forced to shut his studio in Smyrna since he was a British Citizen and returned to London. In 1917, however, when Greece entered the Entente, he moved to Athens and held a studio at 28 Filhellinon Street, across from the Anglican Church. In a short while, having already had international fame, Boucas became the photographer of the intellectuals in Athens, as well as of important politicians. [...] George Boucas died in 1941 at the age of 62, amidst the difficulties of the Second World War. His photographs are hard to come by, because the greatest part of his archive was sold by his second wife to an artisanship who used his negative plates to produce mirrors!  [This is an extracted translation from Boucas' biographical study: George Boucas: The Great Portraitist of the Inter-Wars Period written by Alkis Xanthakis, Professor of AKTO, specialist in the History of Photography, courtesy of Megakles Rogakos, Curator of the American College of Greece Art Collection]

Walter Harrington Crawfurd Price was a Noted War Correspondent being a Balkan's Specialist for the London Times.  The Balkans had been ruled by the Austro-Hungarian empire from 1867 until its defeat at the close of World War I (1914 - 1918). The Versailles peace treaties defined a new pattern of state boundaries in the Balkans, and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was founded in 1918. Crawfurd Price stayed in the Balkans and Greece following the war and his diaries and books document the struggles in this area during the turbulent 1920's. See: W.H. Crawfurd Price, The Balkan Cockpit: The Political and Military Story of the Balkan Wars in Macedonia, London T. Werner Laurie, Ltd., 1914 also, The Dawn of Armageddon Tangiers VisitLight on the Balkans and seven other books on the Balkans in the 1910-1920’s including his published diaries: Diary of Crawfurd Price, Journalist 1920-1922.

Inscribed by Papagos with pen at lower center of border in French: [loosely translated]

To Monsieur
W. H. Crawfurd Price

With expressions of my best sentiments and my very high consideration [esteem]

Athens the 30[th] May 1947

[Signed] A. Papagos

Print matting is signed by photographer Georgios Boucas on the bottom left of the photo. His studio logo [GEO BOUCAS ATHENS] is embossed into the lower right corner. Boucas had a studio on Philhellénes Street in Athens.

Document Specifications: A full length formal black and white portrait photograph of Field Marshall and later Prime Minister Alexander Papagos taken by George Boucas in Athens and later signed by Papagos on the 30th of May 1947. Papagos is in full formal military dress standing for the portrait. The photograph is signed by "A. Papagos" with a note, in French, to a friend and is also signed by George Boucas with his embossed studio seal. Photo itself  is 6.5" x 8.5" (165mm x 230mm). The overall measurement including matting is 9.5" wide x 13.25" tall (240mm x 340mm). Matting is somewhat aged with some corner wear and creases at the edges of the matting and some small stains all well away from signatures.

While Boucas Died in 1941, this photo must have been kept for some time by Papagos before signing and dating it for Crawfurd Price

 Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd. ..............  $ SOLD TO THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF GREECE
 

End of Item - BSL - Alexander Papagos

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