Lesvos is
known as the
“Island of Poets”

Lesvos has been a source of inspiration for writers, artists, musicians and philosophers from ancient times until today…
In Lesvos, the Arts, literature and culture have had a prominent place in the lives of people since the beginning of time. From antiquity to modern times, Lesvos is the birthplace of a large number of poets, musicians, historians and philosophers, distinguished in their time and famous even today. Born and bred here in antiquity were the epic poet Lesches, the archaic poets Arion, Terpander and Alcaeus,one of the Seven Sages of antiquity, Pittacus, the pupil and heir of the important philosopher and founder of botany Aristotle, Theophrastus of Eressos, the author of the first novel in the world “Daphnis and Chloe”, Longus, and many others… And of course among them, the one hailed as the tenth Muse, unrivalled Sappho.
But in the later and modern years too, the island ‘gave birth’ to other lovers of literature and the arts. In the 18th century, Ignatius of Oungrovlachia and Benjamin of Lesvos, a great enlightener and a veritable Teacher of the Nation. In the 19th century, the Vernadakis brothers Demetrios and Grigorios, and Georgios Aristeidis who supported Greek education and the spiritual life of the land during this period. In the 20th century Argyris Eftaliotis, a pioneer in the use of demotiki (vernacular), followed by prose writer Stratis Myrivilis, author of the masterpiece of modern Greek literature “Life in the Tomb”, and of course Elias Venezis, all three of whom offered through their work antiwar and humanitarian stimuli to a worldwide audience. From Asimakis Panselinos, Nick Kambas, Miltos Koundouras and many others who lit the ‘Lesbian Spring’, to Nobel winner Odysseas Elytis who’s poetry together with Sappho’s made the unique and special physiognomy of Lesvos known around the globe.
From the field of painting it is worth mentioning the great folk painter of Modern Greek art Theophilos Chatzimichail, one of the most influential representatives of the Munich School, Georgios Iakovidis http://jakobides-digital-museum.gr/en/index.html as well as Antonis Protopatsis, Stratis Axiotis and Manolis Kalligianis. Of course we owe a special mention to Stratis Eleftheriadis, best known by his French artistic name Tériade, an arts critic, publisher of artistic journals and collector of works of art who created his namesake museum – painting gallery in Vareia, 3-4Km out of Mytilini, with authentic works of known painters renowned internationally like Chagall, Matisse etc. http://www.museumteriade.gr/en/

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