Blog 40 26/09/2016 20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group.

Posted in on 26 September, 2016 in News

20th Century Greek Art: The Amos Art Group.


Yiannis Moralis “Figure”

y-moralis-photoThe twentieth century in Greek art was a transition from the constraints of the old world: the classicism of ancient Greece to the realism and romanticism that stemmed from Greek artists’ contact with the west after the Greek War of Independence, combined with the naivety of folk art and the tradition of icon painting. The past would still continue to exert its influence but in a much freer style. Expressionism and Cubism would now make its mark.


Yiannis Moralis “Portrait of a Young Lady”


Yiannis Moralis. “Portrait of Maria Roussen”

In 1949, when the Civil War in Greece was drawing to a close, Yiannis Moralis formed the “Amos” Art Group, a group of like-minded fellow artists who pushed the boundaries of contemporary art. This group represented some of the finest names in the world of contemporary Greek art. Nikos Hadzikyriakos Ghikas, Yiannis Tsarouchis, Nikos Nikolaou, Nikos Engonopoulos, and Panayiotis Tetsis. They held their first exhibition in Athens’ Zappeion. As it’s impossible to talk about all these eminent artists in one blog, I’ve chosen only three – the others will be in later blog.

Iannis Moralis (1916 – 2009) is recognized as one of Greece’s most important modern painters. He was born in Arta, Greece, in 1916, and moved to Athens when he was eleven.  He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts and in 1936, received a grant to study in Rome for a year. He then went on to study fresco and mural art in Paris. When WWII broke out, he returned to Greece and held his first exhibition therein 1940.  Moralis began as a realistic painter but his style later became more stylistic.


Yiannis Moralis “Girl untying her Shoelaces”

Over the years, he collaborated with two of Greece’s greatest poets – Odysseus Elytis and Georgos Seferis to illustrate their works. He also designed sets for the Greek National Theatre and was involved in decorating the architectural facade of the Athens Hilton, Athens Central Station and the metro station – ‘Panepistemiou’. In 1965, he was decorated with the Order of the Phoenix by King Constantine II.


Nikos Hadzikyriakos Ghikas “Mystras” 1973


Nikos Hadzikyriakos Ghikas “Woman Sleeping” 1943


Nikos Hadzikyriakos Ghikas “Nikiphorus” 1938


Nikos Hadzikyriakos Ghikas


Nikos Hadzikyriakos Ghikas (1906 – 1994) was born in Athens, the son of an eminent naval family. His parents recognized his artistic talent at an early age and arranged for him to study painting with the famous Parthenis. In 1923, he was sent to Paris to study literature at the Sorbonne. At the same time, he also exhibited his works in the Salon des Independants. His first exhibition was held a few years later in 1927 at the Gallerie Percier where he was noticed favourably by Picasso. In 1941 he was offered a position at the Architectural School of the National Technical University of Athens. During his lifetime, Ghikas exhibited in Athens, Paris, London, Berlin and Geneva. He became a full time member of the Athens Academy, the Tiberiana Academy in Rome and the Royal Academy in London. His last exhibition was held at the Royal Academy in 1988.  Today he is celebrated as one of the most important modern Greek painters.



Yiannis Tsarouchis. “Cyclist Dressed up with Traditional Greek Costume and a Temple on the Right Corner 1936


Yiannis Tsarouchis with a model in his studio

Yiannis Tsarouchis (1910 – 1989) was born in Piraeus and studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1929 – 1935. During the years 1935-1936, he visited Istanbul, Paris and Italy and his artistic interests were wide-ranging from architecture, Byzantine iconography and the Renaissance to Impressionism. His first exhibition was in Athens in 1938. In 1940, he joined the army and fought in the Greco-Italian War of 1940.In 1982, his home in the suburb of Maroussi in Athens was turned into the Yiannis Tsarouchis Museum.


Yiannis Tsarouchis ” Sailor”


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