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Landscape of Larnaca



Elly S. Mitzis (1930-1997)
Landscape of Larnaca
oil on canvas
AGLC 715 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Elly S. Mitzis was among the first Cypriot women to study art. A contributing factor to this was the circumstance that she came from a wealthy bourgeois family from Larnaca, with a Cypriot father and a Viennese mother. Her cultivated family environment helped so that Mitzis would not be deprived of a university education, which was the case for the majority of Cypriot women at the time. Thanks to her Austrian mother, she studied at the Vienna Akademie der Bildenden Künste, graduating in 1958.

In parallel to her career as a teacher in secondary education, Mitzis displayed a prolific artistic activity, especially during the first years of the Republic of Cyprus and up to 1974. She began to present her work at group exhibitions in 1959 and held her first solo exhibition in 1965. Furthermore, she was among the first Cypriot artists to show their work outside Cyprus. The greater part of her works is inspired by her life experiences in Cyprus. Her favourite subjects were landscapes and portraits of women. In terms of style, she worked within the framework of Impressionism.

Thιs oil painting Landscape of Larnaca, is a typical example of Mitzis’ landscape work. The leading role in this canvas belongs to colour and the way in which it shapes its relationship with the light. So as to reinforce the brightness of the work, the painter opted for pale colour tones. Light permeates and fragments the form, achieving a sense of movement. Mitzis developed her subject on the canvas by using warm colours for the foreground and cool ones for the middle ground, thus creating a shallow depth.

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About the artist

She studied painting and printmaking at the Vienna Akademie der Bildenden Ku?nste (1954-1958). From 1960 until her retirement in 1995, she worked as an art teacher in secondary education. Her subject matter includes landscapes, still lifes, portraits (mainly of women) and, less frequently, scenes from daily life. In her landscapes she applied the teachings of Impressionism, paying particular attention to the role of light. Her portraits are characterised by selective abstraction, with the help of which she concentrated on the expression and the rendering of emotions on the faces she depicted. She appeared on the Cyprus art scene in 1959 in a Pancyprian exhibition. Subsequently, she took part in many group shows in Cyprus and abroad. Her first solo exhibition was held in Cyprus in 1965. She also exhibited in Athens (1967), Paris (1968) and London (1972).

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