Panayiotis Tetsis, one of Greece’s most notable postwar painters and famous for his post-impressionistic seascapes, died of cancer in Athens early on Saturday. He was 91.
Born in 1925 on the Saronic island of Hydra, which along with Sifnos would inspire much of his later work, Tetsis took his first painting lessons in 1940. His talent was soon spotted by architect Dimitris Pikionis and artist Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas.
After graduating from the Athens School of Fine Arts in 1949, Tetsis pursued postgraduate studies at Paris’s famed Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1953-56, where he was taught the art of engraving.
During his career, Tetsis held more than 90 solo exhibitions while participating in numerous group exhibitions. He has donated more than 200 works to the National Gallery. He continued to paint until the final stages of his life.
“The Greek landscape always warms my heart and inspires me. I try to visit Hydra in the winter when the island is empty, the sea colors are gorgeous and the people are very calm. There are no socialites in view,” he had said in an interview published in Kathimerini.
“If we are to stand on our feet, if we are to work and hope, we all need to find something to hold on to,” he said.
Tetsis’s funeral service will be held Monday at the Aghios Dionysos Areopagitis Church in Kolonaki. He will be buried on Hydra the following day.