The Thera Foundation-Petros M. Nomikos in collaboration with the Gennadius Library, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens has been organizing an exhibition entitled: Roger Tourte: Cyclades Aegean Islands – Cyclades Iles de la mer Egee with reproductions from the original watercolor works of the Cyclades owned by Mr. Petros M. Nomikos and those of Santorini-Thirasia owned by the Gennadius Library.
The exhibition is hosted at the Petros M. Nomikos Conference Centre in Fira, Santorini. It opened on July 1st and will last until the end of October 2017.
Roger Tourte belongs to that distinguished band of talented and adventurous spirits we know as the Early Travellers. Landscape and architecture were his subjects. He had a masterly command of his medium, water colour and tempera, and he was an extraordinarily observant painter. One of the most important aspects of his work stems from this very characteristic. His record of what he saw helps to fill the gap between the Early Traνellers of the late 19th century, such as von Stackelberg, and the great changes that began to alter the landscape of Greece soon after World War ΙΙ. Apart from the photographs of a few distinguished photographers who were working in Greece during the interbellum, World War ΙΙ and after, his paintings, in fact, provide the most abundant illustrated evidence we have for the physical landscape of a Greece that is fast disappearing.
He had first visited Greece in the 1920’s and he finally settled in Athens, shortly before the beginning of World War II. Here too he held his first exhibition under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture, and so he began to paint ceaselessly every corner of Greece, the place that inspired him with its light, the sun and the sky and the sea with its countless islands. All he painted, with that characteristic blue and white which he was able to render true to the atmosphere of the place. In this his paintings are unique. He was an architect to begin with and as many architects he could also draw and paint. His work is precise and he rendered what he saw.
After his death οn the 30th of January, 1972, his work seems somehow to have been forgotten. This, despite his early success and the interest that had been shown both in his paintings and his books, despite the world-wide exhibitions, despite the fact that he had been welcomed and recognized throughout Greece and elsewhere.
The exhibition aims to pay a minimum of tribute to Roger Tourte, this exceptional person and great artist who “lived”, in all its significance, the beauty of the Greek landscape with infinite love, the beauty that has begun to disappear, victim of “culture” and “tourism development”.
Duration of the exhibition 1st July-31st October 2017 | Open daily from 10:00 to 20:00 | Ticket price: 4,00€
Petros M. Nomikos Conference Centre, Fira, Santorini | Tel. +30 2286023017, +30 2107241516