Tinos is the island of marble

Halepas, Filippotis, Vitalis, Sohos, Gyzis, Lytras, world-famous creators born in Tinia, with their masterpieces mainly in sculpture and painting, elevated this island culturally. And in addition to these well-known, dozens of anonymous marblers, builders, hagiographers, woodcarvers, whose samples of high folk art are visible throughout the island, contributed to Art being the main defining element of Tinos.

Sculpture and marble sculpture

It is now indisputable that Tinos' contribution to modern Greek art and especially to sculpture is invaluable. With a tradition that starts from antiquity and the main reference area on the outside, ie the area around Pyrgos, Panormo, Ysternia, Tinos will be a major artistic center and place of origin of the most important sculptures of the 19th century.

Many tried from time to time to look for the reasons that contributed so much to the flourishing of art in Tinos and most came to the conclusion that this call of the island to art is the result of many factors.

Reasons that led to the development of art in Tinos

  • According to tradition, Pheidias, exiled to Delos, was shipwrecked in the area of Kionia and during his stay in Tinos he taught the art of marble sculpture to the locals.
  • Tinos has rich quarries of white and green marble. The abundance of raw materials has certainly played a decisive role from ancient times to the present day.
  • Another element that seems to have played an important role is the fact that Historically, Tinos was the only island that did not experience Turkish rule. This is because the relatively relaxed Turkish rule that was established was short and did not limit it artistically. The Venetian conquerors (1207-1715), on the other hand, valued sculpture, were fascinated by Tinian folk art, and chose marble in what they made, providing the "canvas" to the local marblers.
  • Tinos was the very cause of the birth of art. Its peculiar natural environment had a significant effect. For the strong wind, characteristic of Tinos, A. Sohos wrote: "… the wild wind that blows and rages all the time, contributes to this spiritual awakening, as well as to the creation and cultivation of the beautiful".
  • Finally, perhaps the most basic element seems to be the long tradition of the island. Knowledge and technical experience are passed down from generation to generation. It is a "part of the DNA" of the child born on the outside, a stimulus that he constantly receives in the environment of his village, an experience that motivates him to create.

The flourishing of art

Arriving in the 19th century, Tinos gives birth to Giannoulis Halepas, Nikiforos Lytras, the brothers Fitalis, Lazaros and Antonios Sohos, Dimitrios Filippotis, Loukas Doukas and hundreds of other well-known or anonymous artists. , in Athens, in Europe.

In 1834, a very large number of famous Tinian marble workers immigrated to the capital, as they were called to create the beautiful, classicist, marble-built Athens that was born. Their contribution is decisive in the Palace of Otto, in the University, in the Diocese, in the Academy, in the Archaeological Museum, in the Old Parliament, in the Zappeion, in the Polytechnic, in Zoodochos Pigi etc.

Then, the first marble sculptures and sculptures of Athens were opened by Tinians, while others were working on the restoration of the most important archeological sites. From the Acropolis, Kerameikos, Olympia, etc., many generations of Tinian marbles have passed that have contributed significantly to the restoration and preservation of monuments, a tradition that continues to this day.

In Tinos Art is everywhere. In the bell towers, in the lintels, in the iconostasis, in the busts, in the fountains, in the dovecotes, wherever the eye falls.

In Pyrgos there is a Preparatory and Vocational School of Fine Arts in order to learn the artistic marble. Tuition is free, three years and the courses taught are: marble sculpture, architectural drawing, sculpture (clay, plaster), painting (drawing, color), art history and exhibition. The top two graduates each year are admitted without exams to the Athens School of Fine Arts.

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