200 YEARS GREEKS AND INNOVATION
1948

Konstantinos Parthenis exhibits “The Veneration of Athanasios Diakos” at the first post-war Panhellenic Exhibition

In 1933, Konstantinos Parthenis completed “The Veneration of Athanasios Diakos,” perhaps his most significant painting. The painting was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1938 and at the Panhellenic Exposition in Athens in 1948, where it received the gold medal. However, the prizes were later revoked and Parthenis isolated himself in house where he continued to work until his death. It was a tragic end for him, widely considered today as the most important Greek visual artist of the 20th century.

He contributed persistently to the transition of Greek art from the school of Munich to Paris and from formality to modernism. He was an innovative painter, constantly breaking new ground and introducing modern concepts and at the same time, an inspirational teacher at the School of Fine Arts. In 1963, fellow artist PeriklisVyzantios wrote about Parthenis’ 1917 Athens exhibition: “A fresh air blew for art that day. Half of the left side of the room was lit up by his brilliant paintings. His work filled the exhibition with oxygen, as if a large window had been opened to the countryside.”