ATHENS – Alekos Fassianos, one of the most important modern Greek painters, died Sunday at his home after a long illness, the state news agency ANA reported. He was 86.
Alekos Fassianos was born in Athens on Dec. 16, 1935. He studied violin at the Athens Conservatory and painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1955 to 1960.
Shortly after his first exhibition in the early 1960s, he went to Paris on a French state scholarship to study lithography at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He ended up staying in Paris for 35 years.
Although some of his paintings, especially the early ones, were in a contemporary style, he mostly drew inspiration from Greek popular art and Ancient Greek mythology. He was also inspired by Byzantine themes, although his colorful paintings have little to do with Byzantine austerity. Besides painting and lithography, he also illustrated books, designed theater costumes and settings and dabbled in sculpture.
Fassianos was widely celebrated in Greece and many of his works adorn public spaces, including a mural at an Athens subway station. In France, he was made a commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and an officer of the Legion of Honor. He exhibited widely in Europe and Latin America. His last major exhibition was a 2004 retrospective in Athens.
Fassianos is survived by his wife, Mariza, and two daughters.