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Spyros Vassiliou

Painter, Engraver, Iconographer, Set Designer
He was born in Galaxidi on 16/6/1902 or 1903. He studied at the School of Fine Arts of the National Technical University of Athens under the painters Alexandros Kaloudis and Nikolaos Lytras (1921-1926). Over the course of his 55-year-long career, he held many solo exhibitions and participated in group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He published numerous articles in journals and newspapers (Neoellinika Grammata, Zygos, etc.). During the years of the German occupation, he turned to engraving and adopted elements of the post-Byzantine and folk styles. He designed the frescoes of the church of Agios Dionysios Areopagitis (1929 Benaki Prize of the Academy of Athens) and painted the interior of the Greek church of St. Nicholas in Detroit, USA. In 1960, he was awarded the Guggenheim Prize by the Greek section of AICA (International Association of Art Critics). During the years 1950-1970, he was recognized as one of the most consistent chroniclers of the transformations of the modern urban environment. He created set designs for films and major performances of the Greek National Theatre, the National Theatre of Northern Greece and the Greek National Opera. He collaborated with the Greek National Tourist Organisation and other state institutions. He created more than 5,000 works of art employing all painting techniques. His works have been acquired by Greek public and private galleries, banks and individuals. He served in panels of judges and as a member of the Board of the Greek National Gallery. He was a member of the artistic groups “Techni” and “Stathme,” as well as a founding member of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece. During the years 1974-1981, he served as member and Chairman of the Board of the Greek National Opera, as well as Chairman of its Artistic Committee. As a set and/or costume designer, he collaborated with the GNO in the operettas The Chocolate Soldier [Der tapfere Soldat] (1958-59) and The Godson [O Vaftistikos] (1977-78), the operas The Sunless King [O Vasilias Aniliagos] (1947-48) and Madama Butterfly (1978-79), and the "dramatic legend" The Damnation of Faust [La damnation de Faust] (Herodeion, 1975).