Tuesday, June 23, 2015

He is considered the Greek “Van Gogh” and one of the first impressionist artists in Greece. Although the son of a former Prime Minister and brother of an eminent writer and politician, Nikos Dragoumis (1874-1933) was never in the limelight or celebrated as his father Stefanos and brothers Ion and Philippos were. He spent forty of his fifty-nine years of life in France and Switzerland, struggling with mental illness and the rift with his family, which disapproved of the fact that he turned down a promising career in law to become a painter.

Eventually, he passed away in an asylum, leaving behind an important collection of paintings, never sold, because, as he had once confessed to his brother Philippos, “true art is sacred and non commercial”. An exhibition on his life’s work is being held at the Cultural Institution of the National Bank of Greece. It runs through July 18.