Alekos Fassianos, one of Greece’s most celebrated painters, globally recognized for his impressive body of work, died Sunday aged 86.
Fassianos passed away in his Athens home after a long illness, Greece’s state news agency ANA reported.
“Greece has lost a great artist. Alekos Fasianos leaves us a valuable legacy: His work,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a statement. “Together with all Greeks I say goodbye to a friend. I share the great grief with his wife, his two children and his own people.”
Fassianos was born in the Greek capital on December 16, 1935, and went on to study violin at the Athens Conservatory and painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1955 to 1960.
Shortly after his first exhibition, he moved to Paris after gaining a French state scholarship to study lithography at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (National School of Fine Arts).
The artist continued to live in the French capital for almost four decades before returning to Greece.
Inspired by Greek mythology, Byzantine themes and popular art, Fassianos created a unique style that became recognized around the world. And the Athens native didn’t limit himself to just painting; he also illustrated books, designed costumes for theatrical productions and created sculptures.
Fassianos, who some labelled the Picasso of Greece, was widely lauded and many of his works adorn public spaces, including a mural at a subway station in Athens.
In France, he was made a commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and an officer of the Legion of Honor. His works have been exhibited across Europe and Latin America. His final major exhibition was a 2004 retrospective in Athens during the Olympic Games.
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