OPINION

October 13-14

CHAGALL AND GREECE: (From a note of art critic Angelos Prokopiou): «This man talking to me now in the reception room of the Grande Bretagne Hotel is the real Marc Chagall. Seeing him in the flesh also complements the autobiographical psychology which he has been expressing through his brushstrokes for the past 40 years. His speech, his expression, the blue shine of his eyes give out a feeling of prophetic passion and the magic power of the unreal which reigns in his works. (…) Lately, Marc Chagall has been preparing the illustration of the bucolic poem “Daphnes and Chloe” which Teriade will publish in Paris. The purpose of his trip to Greece is to acquaint himself with and feel the atmosphere and the landscape of the Greek poetic emotion. I asked him about his impressions from modern Greek painting. He had visited the workshops of Ghikas, Gounaropoulos and Tsarouchis, and had seen the works of some other painters. «There is a curious analogy between the modern art of Greece and Mexico,» he told me. «In both countries, I feel tradition weighing down on the shoulders of individuality. I understand this weight for a people that gave birth to Greco-Roman civilization. In Mexico they managed, through a series of revolutions, to free themselves from tradition. Nevertheless, they arrived at a result I do not approve of. In Greece, the people, emotionally more prudent, retain this tradition…