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Greek painter Alekos Fassianos dies at 86

Alekos Fassianos, one of the most important modern Greek painters, has died at his home after a long illness, the state news agency ANA reported. He was 86.

Fassianos was born in Athens on December 16, 1935. He studied violin at the Athens Conservatory and painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts from 1955 to 1960.

Shortly after his first exhibition in the early 1960s, he went to Paris on a French state scholarship to study lithography at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He ended up staying in Paris for 35 years.

Although some of his paintings, especially the early ones, were in a contemporary style, he mostly drew inspiration from Greek popular art and Ancient Greek mythology. He was also inspired by Byzantine themes, although his colourful paintings have little to do with Byzantine austerity.

Besides painting and lithography, he also illustrated books, designed theatre costumes and settings and dabbled in sculpture.

Fassianos was widely celebrated in Greece, and many of his works adorn public spaces, including a mural at an Athens subway station. In France, he was made a commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and an officer of the Legion of Honour.

He exhibited widely in Europe and Latin America, and his last major exhibition was a 2004 retrospective in Athens.

Fassianos is survived by his wife, Mariza, and two daughters.

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