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Peasants



Ioannis Kissonerghis (1889-1963)
Peasants
oil on cradled panel
AGLC 492 @ A.G Leventis Gallery

Kissonerghis’ key themes included landscapes and scenes of everyday life, especially of farmers.  Although he was born in Nicosia and remained there for his whole life, he had a close relationship with the countryside and especially with his wife’s village, Rizokarpaso. For this reason, many of his pieces feature the landscape, the buildings, the traditional dress and the everyday activities of the Karpasia area, where Rizokarpaso is located.  His choice of themes was partly affected by the preferences of the main buyers of his work ; the bourgeois class and foreigners- mainly English- visitors or residents of Cyprus, that wanted a souvenir of the places, sights and lives of Cypriots.

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About the artist

Ioannis Kissonerghis was born in Nicosia in 1889. He studied medicine for three years at the University of Athens, but interrupted his studies to take part in the Balkan Wars. After they ended in 1913 he enrolled in the Athens School of Fine Arts, where he remained for 1 ½ years.  However due to serious Illness, he had to return to Cyprus, where he taught at the Pancyprian Gymansium and The English School.  His art was very much influenced by his studies at the Athens School of Fine Art, where he was taught by professors that had been educated in Munich and had brought with them the artistic climate that prevailed there at the time.  His relationship with them is evident in Kissonerghis’ realistic approach, accomplished draftsmanship and detailed and skillful composition. Kissonerghis was particularly involved in watercolour. The greater freedom of line and the quicker speed that watercolour painting demands affected his style, helping to distance him from the various constraints of the academic tradition.

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