The art of Konstantinos Maleas


Konstantinos Maleas was a post-impressionist painter and one of the more famous Greek artists of modern times. Born in 1879 in Ottoman Istanbul, Konstantinos left the city at the age of 23 to study architecture in Paris but later switched to painting. Eventually he returned to Greece and settled in Athens, where he became immersed in the local contemporary art scene. Not content to remain there and needing inspiration, Maleas left home to travel extensively, most notably throughout other parts of the Ottoman Empire (which at the time Greece was a part of) such as Egypt, the Levant, Western Europe and of course his homeland, Greece.


Besides his art, Maleas’ contribution to contemporary Greek culture was also substantial. He was influential in the modernization of the Greek language and illustrated it’s first alphabet book. In additoin to this, he also was a contributor to many newspapers and cultural journals. For these and his other endeavors, the Greek government awarded him one of its highest cultural honors, Highest Acknowledgement of Letters and Arts.

Maleas’ art shows a likeness to Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh, who were most probably his influences.

Some of his more famous work can be viewed below.

Self portrait of Maleas
Self portrait of Maleas

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