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Andreas Georgiadis the Cretan

Man Sitting Back's Study
Man Sitting Back's Study
Woman's Back and Legs Pencil Chiaroscuro
Woman's Back and Legs Pencil Chiaroscuro

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Artist Information:
Name   : Andreas Georgiadis the Cretan
Location: Thessaloniki  
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Andreas Georgiadis the Cretan

Andreas Georgiadis was born in Chania in November 1892, three years after the Cretan uprising of 1889. At the time of his birth his father had just returned to Crete with his family, following the lifting of a sentence against him by the Porte. At the time of his conviction he had fled, with many other Cretans, and taken refuge in Athens, sending his family to Milos. These were troubled times in which to grow up and while still a young child Andreas was taken to Egypt, after the burning of the city of Chania in 1896. He spent most of his childhood there, in Ismailia and in Cairo. His first employment was at the workshops of the contractor V. Vernardos, who specialised in decorating jobs on new buildings. After this apprenticeship he moved on to work as assistant to the painter and decorator Orlando, in Cairo. When Orlando left for Italy he recommended his assistant to the architectural practice of the Nistri brothers. Andreas remained here for three years. He was now eighteen years old. He came to Athens in 1910 and in 1912 took the exams for the School of Fine Arts, or School of Graphic Arts as it was then known. He was admitted to the third class, under Dimitris Geraniotis, In 1912-13 he fought with the Garibaldian volunteer corps (the Red Tunics) in the Balkan wars. He was wounded at the Battle of Driskos in Kriftsi and lost the use of one eye. In 1914 he resumed his studies at the School of Fine Arts, continuing to attend for seven years and finally graduating in 1923. During this second period at the School he studied under Georgios lakovidis, Georgios N. Roilos and Spyros Vikatos. In 1922 he was awarded first prize in the Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs' Panhellenic Arts Competition, which had asked candidates to submit a work on the theme: the Exodus from Mesolonghi, In 1924, newly graduated from the School of Fine Arts, he took part in the Polytechnic School's Averofeio Competition, securing first prize from among all the sculptors and painters competing and receiving a scholarship to study in Europe. From 1924 to 1929 he studied painting in Paris, at the three free academies Julian, Colarossi Grande and Chaumiere. At the same time he was exploring the history of western European art, studying the works of the great Renaissance artists in the museums of Paris, Madrid, Toledo and the Escorial. The same passion also drew him to Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent During this third chapter in his museum education he produced a series of twenty-five studies of the works he saw, later assimilated freely into his own work - echoes of Ribera, Carreno, Titian, Velasquez, Rubens, Van Dyke and Renoir.
Georgiadis died in Athens in August 1981.
In May 1929 he returned to Greece and presented his first solo exhibition in the Parnassos Gallery - an exhibition of forty works. Zacharias Papantoniou, at that time Director of the National Gallery, devoted a great deal of critical attention to his work. In August of the same year he received the Heracles Voltos Scholarship from the University of Athens, enabling him to devote another three years to the study of the techniques and technical development of western European art. He spent many hours at the Louvre and the Corsini Gallery in Rome, producing four studies of works by El Greco. In 1930 his work Manna was accepted by the panel of judges for the exhibition at' the Grand Palais, the annual Salon of new work, at which - by way of exception - foreign artists were allowed to exhibit. He completed his seven years of travel and study at Bologna in' Italy, where he spent a year (1930-31) at the Regia Scuola per Industrie Artistiche, specialising in fresco technique under the eminent Italian fresco painter Mario Roversi, and receiving a diploma in fresco painting at the end of the course. In 1931 he was awarded an honorary medal and diploma to mark the centenary of the independence of the Greek nation. In 1933 he was declared an honorary member of the Association of Veterans and granted an honorary diploma in recognition of his services to the nation and the arts, In 1934 he showed three works at the Venice International Exhibition, including the Portrait of a Friend (D, Rodokanakis). In his review for the Corriere della Sera (Milan, 17 July 1934) the eminent art critic Ugo Ojetti singled out two names for special praise from the Greek pavilion: Andreas Georgiadis and Dimitris Dimas. In 1935 he and Fotis Kontoglou were appointed to the committee overseeing the restoration of the wall paintings in the Trophy Room of the Old Palace. In April 1936 he was selected by the General Meeting of the Association of Greek Artists to send one of his works to the International Exhibition in Sydney, Australia. In May 1936 he took part in the exhibition of portraits organised by Greek artists at the Atelier Gallery. In November of the same year he took part in the 7th Exhibition of Greek Artists at the Atelier. In April 1938 Pantelis Prevelakis presented a number of his works in the distinguished English art magazine Studio, In June 1938 he was appointed by the plenary session of the arts associations (E.S.E.T.) to the Panel of Judges of the Panhellenic Exhibition, At the same exhibition he was also awarded a bronze medal for his Worker. In the same year the General Meeting of the Association of Greek Artists made him a member of the committee preparing legislation for the founding of a Professional Artists Chamber. In 1947 he was appointed to the chair of painting at the School of Fine Arts, where he taught colour and composition until 1961. Numerous fine painters emerged from his tutelage; the many different directions taken by his students indicate the tolerance and freedom of spirit which characterised his teaching. In 1950 he was invited to show work at the 25th International Exhibition in Venice, finally sending a total of ten paintings, The eminent art critic Francesco Sapori wrote in Paine Nuove (Year IV, Oct.- Nov.- Dec. 1950) that 'Andreas Georgiadis has produced the most important painting at the Greek pavilion, the Fall, in which the artist has mastered all that El Greco has to teach on the subject of chiaroscuro'. In 1957 he participated in the 2nd Mediterranean Exhibition in Alexandria. In 1959 he showed no fewer than eighty paintings at a retrospective at the Parnassos Gallery. In 1962 the loannina Gallery mounted an exhibition of thirty-two of his works, and the city awarded him a gold medal for his role in the campaigns of 1912-13 and his contribution to the arts. In 1964 a number of his works featured in the exhibition Pioneers of Modern Greek Art at the Hilton Hotel. In 1965 his fellow artists elected him President of the Chamber of Arts, a position he occupied until 1970, tirelessly lobbying for legislation to provide a state pension for retired artists. In 1969 the Chrysostomos Literary Society organised a special tribute to Georgiadis, an exhibition of fifty-two of his works. He was later awarded a gold medal by the city of Chania. In 1972 the Piraeus City Council mounted an exhibition with fifty-five of his works. In 1978 the Athens Rotary Club awarded him a diploma and silver medal for his valuable contribution to Greek art. He took part in all the Panhellenic Exhibitions of the following years: 1938, 1939, 1940, 1948, 1952, 1957, I960, 1963, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1973 and 1975. He showed work at group exhibitions abroad, including the 16 Greek Artists in Belgrade in 1954, Contemporary Greek Plastic Art, in Bucharest, 1962, and Contemporary Art in Greece, in Moscow, 1963. In December 1986 the Director of the National Gallery, Dimitris Papastamos, presented the first complete retrospective of the artist's work - a tribute to his career as a painter. His works can be seen today in the National Gallery, the Municipal Gallery and Athens Academy, the Historical and Ethnological Museum, the War Museum, the Ministry of Education, the Bank of Greece and Agrotiki Bank, the Orthodox Academy of Chania, Crete, the Chrysostomos Literary Society, Chania, the Averof Gallery, the Rhodes Municipal Gallery and other public institutions as well as private collections in Greece and abroad.

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