Vassiliou Spyros

Painter, icon painter and stage designer Spyros Vassiliou was born in Galaxidi in 1903. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1921 – 1925) under A. Kaloudis and, following his participation in a movement by the students of the Athens School of Fine Arts for the revitalization of the School, he studied at the workshop of Nikolaos Lytras. He was a member of the art groups “Omada Techni” and “Stathmi”. As early as 1924 (with the first presentation of his work in a group exhibition held at Zappeion Hall, and then in the exhibition at the foyer of the Municipal Theatre of Athens with Polykleitos Regos, Spyros Kokkinos and Antonis Polykandriotis, known as the “Exhibition of the Four”, and in 1929 his first solo exhibition held at the Stratigopoulos Art Gallery) and until the end of his life, he presented his work in many solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. A large retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum in 1975.

He also took part in international events such as the Venice Biennale (1934, 1964), the Alexandria Biennale (1957), the Sao Paulo Art Biennial (1959), the New Delhi Triennale (1971), etc. He received several awards for his work, such as the Academy of Athens Benakis Award for the interior wall decoration of the church of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite with religious scenes (1930) and the Guggenheim Prize of AICA Hellas (1960). He also worked as an icon painter and engraver, mainly during the years of the German Occupation, when he secretly published woodcuts, illustrated manuscripts and handwritten editions of Greek poets with patriotic content. He also worked as a stage designer (from 1929 to 1984), and his contribution to the development of post-WWII stage aesthetics was significant. He published albums such as the album Galaxidiotika Karavia (Ships of Galaxidi) which he edited (1934) or the autobiographical Phota kai Skies (Lights and Shadows) in 1969.

He collaborated with newspapers and magazines as an art columnist, he worked as an illustrator and a cartoonist (pen name: Nifon Bekris). He served as a member of various art juries and as a board member of the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum. He taught at the Papastratios School, at the Athinaion Educational Association, and at the Athens Technological Organization. Spyros Vassiliou died in 1985 in Athens. He was a founding member of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. Large-scale tributes to his work took place posthumously in various Greek cities and in Athens (at the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation in 1989, the exhibition Athens by Spyros Vassiliou held at the Athens Municipal Art Gallery in 1995, etc.). Since 2004, his house has been operating as the “Atelier Spyros Vassiliou” Museum (5 Webster Street).

Artist's artworks