Simonopetra Monastery, 1933
A pupil of Nikolaos Lytras at the Athens School of Fine Arts, from which he graduated in 1926, and one of the questing artists of the 1920s who realised that something new was coming to birth in Greek art through the work of painters such as Constantinos Maleas and Spyros Papaloukas, Rengos went to Paris in 1930 to continue his studies in painting at the Grande Chaumière Academy and in engraving with Dimitrios Galanis. Profoundly influenced by the personality and work of the great engraver, he turned towards Byzantine painting, with which he came into substantive contact, while at the same time similar explorations by contemporaneous artists such as Derain were to leave their mark on his work. The Holy Mountain of Athos, which he visited immediately after his return to Greece in 1935, when he settled permanently in Thessaloniki, became one of his favourite subjects and the ultimate aim of his aesthetic quests. Landscapes, portraits, nudes, everyday scenes, and icon-painting formed the subject-matter of Rengos, in which the influences of Byzantine art, and the wealth of his experiences derived from his many trips abroad – to France and Italy, to Spain and the United States – which contributed to the renewal of hi expression as an artist and to the use of a variety of styles, are clearly apparent.