200 YEARS GREEKS AND INNOVATION
1848

Eleni Boukoura-Altamoura goes to Italy to study painting

Eleni Boukoura-Altamoura was the daughter of Revolution fighter captain Yiannis Boukouras. She went to Rome in 1848 to study painting. To achieve this, she dressed as a man and assumed the name of Chrysinis Boukouris. She became the first woman to enroll in an art school since, in the middle of the 19th century, women were taught art only at home. She remained in Italy for a long time; she also studied at the Academies of Florence and Naples. She wedded art professor Saverio Altamoura and had three children. They divorced in 1857, at which time she returned to Greece and started teaching at the Arsakeion School for Girls and exhibiting her work. Her mental health was challenged by the death of two of her children, Sofia, and painter Ioannis Altamoura. Isolated and largely forgotten, she died in Spetses in 1900 while the bulk of her work is lost. She allegedly burned most of her paintings in 1878, after the death of her son.