200 YEARS GREEKS AND INNOVATION
2001

The “Monument of the Battle of Pindos,” the monumental frieze by Christos Kapralos adorns the Peristyle of the Hellenic Parliament

Christos Kapralos (1909-1993) is one of the greatest Greek sculptors of the 20th century a visionary who pointed out that Greek art in its “ethnic,” anthropocentric context could also become global. Kapralos was born in Panaitolio of Aitoloakarnanias in a poor peasant family. During the years 1930-1934, he studied painting at the School of Fine Arts, and from 1934 to 1939, he lived in Paris. He returned to Panaitolio during the German occupation. During his stay, he worked in the tobacco fields and created small sculptures with his mother and the village children as models. Shortly afterwards he started working on the Monument of the Battle of Pindos using plaster. This piece became known as the frieze of Pindos.

In 1951 the sculptor visited Aegina for the first time and began using the local limestone. He used limestone to create a frieze that represented the cultivation and processing of tobacco. From 1952 to 1956, he used limestone to recreate the frieze of Pindos, which is his most famous sculpture of that period. Without a doubt, it is one of the most powerful monumental groups of modern Greek sculpture, which has references to both archaic and vernacular art. In 2002 the frieze of Pindos was installed at the Peristyle of the Hellenic Parliament, where it is found today.