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Evita Arapoglou

(b Ayvalık, Turkey, Nov 8, 1895; d Athens, July 13, 1965).

Greek painter, printmaker, hagiographer, and writer. An ardent believer in the Byzantine and post-Byzantine tradition, he left Ayvalık in 1913 to study painting at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. His studies were interrupted by World War I, during which he travelled to Paris with Spyros Papaloukas; he returned to Ayvalık in 1919, but after the Greco-Turkish War of 1922 he settled in Athens, where he spent the rest of his life. The Asia Minor disaster had a profound impact on his development in that he devoted himself to Byzantine iconography as, in his view, the genuine expression of the Greek spirit.

Working consistently throughout his life as a painter and writer, from 1930 he based his themes almost exclusively on Greek traditions, using an unpretentiously simple and direct language in both media. His work included small panel paintings (mainly icons and portraits), book illustrations, miniatures, drawings for mosaics and wood sculptures, lithographs, woodcuts, and frescoes in Greek Orthodox churches, for example, for St George in Kypseli, Athens (...