The funeral of Costis Palamas
Spyros Vasileiou, a mercurial figure in the world of Greek art, from as early as his student days, at the School of Fine Arts in the 1920s, played a leading role in struggles for freedom of expression and creativity, over and beyond the conventions of academic teaching. In the 1930s, moreover, he played a decisive part in the shaping of the new Greek art which occupied a place between Modernism and the Byzantine or vernacular tradition. Deeply convinced that the national heritage could serve the re-creation and renewal of art – without an unconditional surrender to it – he succeeded in remodelling historical material and reshaping it in creations which distinctly bear the mark of principles and interpretations of modern painting. Memories of Byzantium, particularly in the rendering of depth and perspective – which do not follow the prismatic disposition of the axes towards the notional meeting-point – can be traced even in works of the artist's last period, in which the surrealist space is laid out with arbitrary interventions, thus contributing to the creation of a metaphysical, poetic atmosphere.