Α day at the Leventis Gallery in Nicosia

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I heard several times about a really great Gallery/Museum in Cyprus which is a must to go, when you happen to be at the Capital.  So since i was in Nicosia for a week i decided to pay a visit.It was well worth it i d say…

⤷  Leventis Gallery is in fact a true jewel of our Country hiding inside the walls a true treasure. The Gallery  contains three Collections, “The Paris Collection“, consists of a collecttion gather by mr Anastasios G. Leventis around the 1950’s – 60s and 70s.
The pieces bring together a broad spectrum of the history of art which of the history of art which reflect his personal fascination with different artistic schools and styles, from the Old Masters and academic art to Impressionism and the early days of Modernism, amidst period furniture and a wealth of objects from the decorative arts.

The Greek Collection
This collection consists of art works during the 19th – 20th Century. A variation of oil paintings, watercolours, drawings and prints which were all collected by Anastasios Leventis araound the 70s.
The works represent the variety of artistic movements and stylistic approaches in the history of Modern Greek painting, including exemplary works by the artists who shaped the face of Greek art in the 19th century.  example Pericles Pantazis. And at the second gallery of the Greek Collection is dedicated to ‘The 20th Century’ and features works by the great masters Konstantinos Parthenis, Konstantinos Maleas and Spyros Papaloukas, as well as the eminent younger artists who left their mark on 20th-century Greek painting such as Yannis Tsarouchis, Nikos Hatzikyriakos-Ghika and Yannis Moralis. Together they offer an overview of Greek art of the period: from Modernist explorations to academic expressions, the achievements of the Generation of the ’30s and post-war painting, up to Abstract art

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This is one of favourite paintings of the collection, titled Mount Taygetous, by Konstantinos Maleas, Oil In wood, 1917.
Maleas was a founding member of a group called ( Texhni – meaning art in Greek) which brought together establish groundbreaking artist who aspire to create Greek Modernings.
The above painting was inspired by the Post- Impressionist movements and Paul Cezanne.
I really loved the clear legible brush strokes, the colours..the purple shadows, the forms, the general sense of flatness, calmness.”

I think the Cypriot collection was rather Touching, maybe because the sceneries depicted, are familiar, as if they are memories of a distant past or even because the consist of the resent history of the war, which its marks are still visible in the faces of our relatives, in the walls of the city..and in the photographs which are scattered around our house.

The collection is featuring representative pieces by Cypriot artists born between 1884 and 1930, the Collection offers insight into the beginnings and development of modern Cypriot art. According to the website: “The pioneers of contemporary Cypriot art worked under adverse conditions. Yet, despite problems in creating their work and gaining public acceptance, they laid the foundations for Cypriot art to develop and flourish. Most of these artists were also fortunate enough to experience the birth of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the subsequent establishment of numerous institutions that supported local art.
Their works are often of a narrative and figurative character, as the artists found their inspiration in the everyday life of the people, the landscape and the history of Cyprus. They were influenced by their education abroad at various fine art academies, where they were exposed to Post-Impressionism and to other contemporaneous Modernist movements. Some Cypriot artists also experimented with the ancient, Byzantine and folk art of Cyprus, traditions which prevailed on the island at the time, as Cyprus, subject to foreign rule up until the mid-20th century, had not been exposed to the artistic Renaissance experienced in Western Europe.

The painting below is one of the most touching ones. The painting titled: “Agonies Before and After” is produced By Diamantios Diamantis during 1990s till the 1994. 
The painting reflects influences of the Cypriots events during the anticolonian Struggle in 1955 – 59 , the inter communal rots in 1963 – 64 and finally the Turkish Invasion in 1974.

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Agonies Before and After ,the final piece in the series and it explores the anxieties of the Cypriot people in the period preceding and subsequent to the Turkish invasion.
We see women threatened, trying to escape, and save what is most precious to them: their children but also their animals with which the rural communities of Cyprus had a life-long relationship. Diamantis created a different style for this new reality, one that would allow him to convey the emotions and the soul of a people and a world that had lost its sense of inner balance; it was characterised by an Expressionistic and Symbolist approach.

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