CHRONIS Botsoglou’s room with a view on Lesvos, had visually intrigued him from the ’70s, when he first started to study the view of the mountain from his window. But it was only in the last eight years that he dared to actually paint it. The National Bank of Greece’s Educational Foundation (MIET, Eynard Mansion) has organised a show comprising 110 paintings by the acclaimed Greek artist, all of which basically focus on the view from this window, in Lesvos. The show, which runs till December 3, is a testimony of how the artist has studied in depth this particular scene, exploring all of its aspects.
Botsoglou has stated the following in his book ‘The Study of Colour’:
”Up till now I had painted this mountain at least ten times. I would paint it with bic biro, with pencil, with black Chinese ink, with coloured Chinese inks, with tempera, on different kinds of paper and on newspaper. Nothing has remained from these works. They are the most commercial works and so everyone is happy when they see me painting them. I have almost studied it. Often I would begin from one solution in order to find it, but most of the time the mountain itself and the materials helped me find ways in order to study it.
I have said that when I get old, when I will have ‘payed the debts’, and am without any other worries, I will sit here with a big canvas and paint the mountain. In old age I will have the eyes with which to see the plane and the mountain and the sea. I will have won the seriousness and patience in order to see the trees and crops growing. Up till now I hadn’t dared to go further than to draw them. And I admire Theofilos who painted all this so vividly” (From his diary, August 1977)
Botsoglou was born in Thessaloniki, 1941. He studied at the workshop of Sarafianos, and at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1960-65). He continued his studies in Paris (Ecole des Beaux-Arts) with a state scholarship. He was part of the New Greek Realists group, together with Yiannis Valavanidis, Cleopatra Digka, Kyriakos Katzourakis and Yiannis Psychopedis. In 1989 he started teaching at the Athens School of Fine Arts, later on becoming its Dean (2001-2005). He continued to teach there until 2008.
• Botsoglou will be giving guided tours to his show every Saturday, 11am-1.30pm. The exhibition runs till December 3. Open Tues-Fri 12-8. Sat 11-5. Tel 210-522-3101. MIET is on 20 Ag Konstantinos Ave.