Byzantium set its own indelible seal on man’s incessant and indefatigable endeavour to depict transcendence. Despite all the socio-historical adversities it endured, this multifaceted civilization produced masterpieces in all fields of spiritual and artistic creation.
In recent and modern times, many distinguished Greek painters made recourse to the iconographic world of this great art, seeking pictorial models and influences, not in order to repeat familiar stereotypes but to merge them with the spirit and the stylistic tenets of the artistic currents and movements experienced throughout the last century.
Aim of this hommage is to explore these historical, aesthetic and stylistic influences, and to enhance the way in which Modern Greek painters incorporated them in their artistic inquiries, thus succeeding in rekindling interest in this enduring yet aesthetically undervalued iconographic culture.
This is the thought behind the exhibition organized by the Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation for the summer of 2013, an artistic hommage curated by Dr Nikos Zias, Professor Emeritus of the University of Athens.
The exhibition is structured around works by the following distinguished painters, who alongside secular painting also created works on religious themes, in this way contributing to the revival of interest in Byzantine art: Constantinos Parthenis, Photis Kontoglou, Spyros Papaloukas, Spyros Vasileiou, Polykleitos Rengos, Nikos Engonopoulos, Giannis Tsarouchis, Constantinos Artemis, Demetrios Pelekasis, Agenor Asteriadis, Polychronis Lembesis, Demetris Biskinis, Stephanos Almaliotis, Anastasios Loukidis, Nikos Nikolaou, Rallis Kopsidis, and the print-makers Demetrios Galanis, Lykourgos Kogevinas, Efthymios Papadimitriou, Alevizos-Anastasios Tassos, Giorgos Sikeliotis, Vasso Katraki.
The 130 and more works on display come from state and ecclesiastical museums, churches, foundations and private collections.
The exhibition is accompanied by an authoritative catalogue with texts by 13 scholars, edited by Christos Ph. Margaritis.