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Kato Platres



Charilaos Dikaios (1911-2009)
Kato Platres
watercolour on paper
AGLC 724 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

For Charilaos Dikaios, watercolour was an especially favoured medium. He used it to depict impressions from his many journeys, both in Cyprus and abroad. The Troodos Mountains region and the village of Platres, one of the most popular summer resorts on the island, inspired many of his watercolours.

The watercolour titled Kato Platres portrays a typical landscape outside the village. It is obvious that the painter was not interested in giving us a realistic description of physical space. Concentrating on conveying the ambience, he captured the momentary; the flux. Into this free negotiation with the subject matter, the artist introduced his personal mood. His brushstroke is gestural and expresses feelings evoked in him by that particular moment, while its restlessness creates a movement indicating the changeable in nature. A few white and purple clouds across the churning sky might be a portent of rain. Colour plays the leading role in the rendering of the subject. The painter worked with hues of blue and yellow and their derivative, green, which dominates the watercolour, as it does the natural surroundings of that particular region.

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About the artist

He studied architecture and painting at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He worked as an architect, while at the same time focusing systematically on painting. His subject matter includes landscapes, typical Cypriot figures and scenes from daily life. He also painted portraits and nudes. Besides oil paintings, he used watercolours, particularly in his landscapes painted from nature. He borrowed from the Impressionist idiom and went on to a more expressionist style, marked by a gestural brushstroke and an emphasis on colour values. Beginning in 1965, he presented his work in 14 solo exhibitions in Cyprus, Lyon (1966, 1976), Heidelberg (1977), Athens (1977), Paris (1978) and New York (1979), as well as in group shows in Cyprus and abroad.

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