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View towards Morphou from Fteriki, Alona, 1965



Telemachos Kanthos (1910-1993)
View towards Morphou from Fteriki, Alona, 1965
oil on canvas
AGLC 489 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Telemachos Kanthos showed a predilection for landscape painting.  More reserved at the outset, thanks to his experiential and uninterrupted relationship with Cypriot nature he would later delve deeper and deeper into the interpretation of its character and behaviour. Kanthos’ studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts brought him into contact with the work of the plein air painters. 

Undoubtedly, the origin of Kanthos’ personal artistic pursuits lies in plein air landscape painting. He later studied the Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists, notably Cézanne. While still a student, he singled out the work of Konstantinos Parthenis and Konstantinos Maleas. All these artists fuelled his personal research, which was filtered through his distinctive, closely observed relationship with nature, and thus resulted in a singular artistic style.

The canvas in the A. G. Leventis Gallery Collection, View towards Morphou from Fteriki, Alona, was painted in 1965 and belongs to a particularly prolific period of Kanthos’ career, during which he gave us some of the loveliest representations and interpretations of Cypriot nature. Kanthos built his painting up with colour. He used it to draw, to create surfaces and volumes, to convey shadows and the intensities of light, to construct and compose. The work evolves rhythmically, with the tonal variations of colour and the discreet, gentle contrasts of purples and yellows, blues and oranges. The bold volumetric brushstrokes reveal the hidden geometry of space. The composition is organised diagonally with the steep slope taking up the greatest part of the painting, allowing a section of sea and sky to be seen at the back. The painter constructed the work geometrically, through the dialogue between two triangles: a larger one in the foreground, which creates the slope and is rendered in bolder colours; and a smaller one in the middle and back, which functions as the backdrop to the main subject and which, by being painted in lighter colours, appears sufficiently distant.

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About the artist

Telemachos Kanthos was  born in 1910 . He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1929 to 1932 and from 1934 to 1938. His work is completely inspired by the landscape and people of Cyprus.  As a starting point for his artistic pursuits he studied 19th century landscape art.  He continued to study the Impressionists and the Post-Impressionists, focusing particularly on Cézanne.  He was especially interested in landscape painting and studied Cyprus’ light, colours and volumes in great depth. When painting scenes from everyday life, he focused on the ‘essential’; his compositions are characterized by simplification, schematized forms and a removal of excessive and descriptive allusions.

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