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Karavas, between 1960 and 1965 (?)



Andreas Asproftas (1919-2004)
Karavas, between 1960 and 1965 (?)
Oil on plywood
AGLC 719 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Despite his studies in Perugia, Italy, Andreas Asproftas was decisively influenced, in terms of his search for subject matter and painting style, by his teacher at the Famagusta High School, Telemachos Kanthos, to whom he was linked by a close friendship until the end of the latter’s life. Of course, Asproftas’ great love of the landscape and his exploration and rendering of harmony in nature also originated to a large degree in his personal worldview and his pantheistic attitude towards nature.

The work Karavas,  is not dated. It shows a view of the village and was obviously painted before 1974 and its occupation by the Turkish troops. The painter’s son placed its creation between the years 1960 and 1965. The composition is characterised by a classical structure and originates in the teachings of Impressionism. It is apparent that the painter was especially interested in the relationship between the landscape and the light – a light that is gentle and clear and calmly embraces nature. The tranquillity emanating from the landscape is enhanced by the calm, deep blue sea, rendered as a solid blue surface, and the cloudless, lighter blue sky.

Being aware of the painter’s metaphysical pursuits and his pantheistic view of nature, we recognise his effort to convey to the viewer certain more permanent features of nature, its rhythm and beauty, which have the power to transport humans beyond the material to the spiritual. The painting also traces the relationship between its creator and music (Asproftas had studied music, which he taught). Through harmony, counterpoint and the rhythm of colours and shapes, he created a visual work in the same way that he would compose a musical work.

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About the artist

He attended the School of Medicine of the University of Athens (1937-1940), but did not complete his studies, and went on to study music at the National Conservatory of Athens, from which he graduated in 1960. During his sojourn in Athens, he took painting lessons at a private school. In 1967-1968 he studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Perugia. He worked as an art and music teacher. His subject matter includes landscapes and scenes from daily life. He produced mainly watercolours, gravitating towards plein air painting and Impressionism. His works are characterised by a tendency to simplify. He presented his work in group shows beginning in 1956 and in 12 solo exhibitions in Cyprus beginning in 1961.

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