CULTURE

Nicholas Egon’s ‘Hymn to the Greek Landscape’

Wildflowers, proud lilies against a backdrop of blue skies, sunsets, fog on Kastoria Lake, paths flanked by poppies and flowering clover are just some of the 57 images in the hymn to the Greek landscapes, a declaration of love for Greece, ancient and modern, by internationally renowned artist Nicholas Egon in an exhibition that opened on April 24 at the Benaki Museum. The Athens diplomatic corps was out in force, people who have visited the greatest museums in the world and who recognize Egon as a unique talent. Guests included former prime minister Costas Simitis and his wife Daphne, Education Minister Marietta Giannakou, who compared Egon to the philhellene travelers of the 19th century, Aegean Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis and his wife, and Niki Goulandri, who called Egon a «pioneering explorer in the ecological function of nature.» Curator Fanni-Maria Tsigakou spent five months conferring with the artist in London and Athens on his biography for the exhibition catalogue. This is Egon’s first major exhibition in Greece, his «new homeland since 1949» when he married his Greek wife Matti. Along with her daughter Stamatia Kottaki, Matti was there in a beautiful dress that recalled the starry night sky over the island of Chios. May Day is just a few days away – a visit to the Benaki Museum on Koumbari Street would be a fitting way to spend part of the day, among Egon’s landscapes and seascapes. The exhibition, which was in the making for several years, lasts until May 20.