Yannis Pappas, one of the most cultivated artists in the world of modern Greek art, learnt and created in three cities - Paris, Athens, and Alexandria - which inspired and taught him, each by virtue of its special characteristics. In Paris he acquired an academic training in literature, philosophy, and law, and he also studied at the École des Beaux Arts, in the studio of Jean Boucher at the Louvre. The many-sided theoretical and practical training which he acquired familiarised him with contemporary European Modernism, while at the same time he shaped his own personal style of expression. Pappas approached sculpture with realism and precision, not copying but seeking "the natural laws which will express the truth of the stance and will characterise for ever an objective truth". He attached great importance to the symmetry, the outline, and the size of the figures which he worked on. After the end of the Second World War, during which he served in the Naval Command in Alexandria, he stayed in Egypt until 1950 in order to study the monuments of Egyptian art, an experience which is reflected in his sculpture, where the larger-than-life monumental magnitudes and the static nature of the statues predominate.
Throughout his career as a creative artist, the starting-point for Yannis Pappas was the human figure, which was for him "an inexhaustible source of emotions and knowledge". His work manifests a conscious effort to remain representational, while at the same time it bears witness to the obvious influences of contemporary European movements and of the ancient Greek and Egyptian models which he had studied.