LESBOS East - Varia

The village of Varia, located 3 km south of the capital Mytilini , is famous due to the much visited: 

  • The Theophilus Museum and
  • The Teriade Museum of Modern Art.

Both Museums are situated within a large olive grove belonging to Stratis Eleftheriadis-Teriade, who was born in Mytilene and was a famous art critic in Paris. He was the creator of the museums.

The popular naïve painter Theofilos, also known as Evzone because of the traditional fustanella he often wore, was born in 1873 at Varia in Lesvos and was living a life of deprivation and creation. He died in 1934. For the naïve compositions he painted he used a special substance in the mixture of paints, which gave his paintings solidity and brilliancy.

He painted surfaces in coffee shops, houses, chapels and anywhere else to earn his food and many times without any reward, just for a glass of wine. Theofilos was discovered by Stratis Eleftheriadis-Teriade, and was truly recognized in the art world after his death. Some of his works have been exhibited in the museum of Louvre. Today, the museum with his works in Varia exhibits 86 works of the painter.

The Teriade Library and Museum of Modern Art: The contents of the museum consist of twenty-nine rare books by the art critic with hundreds of pictures done by the great artists of our time, Picasso, Matisse, Giacometti, Chagall, Le Corbusier, Miro and others. The books are in special cases and pages are framed on the walls so that one can see and enjoy the inspiration and the modern designs of the great painters who made history in Paris. In the museum-library are also the forty paintings by Theophilos that Teriade presented at the Louvre which made the folk artist known world-wide.

The Museum building has an area of around 1,000 square meters and its architectural morphology is distinguished by its simplicity. This was Teriade's wish so that the building would harmoniously bond to its surroundings. The Teriade museum-library is unique in the world for it constitutes both a large school of art and a research center for artists and those involved with the arts while still being of interest to ordinary visitors. The museum holds exhibitions of many eminent painters.

Within the olive grove, you can also visit the small chapel of Agia Paraskevi. The general atmosphere is one of tranquility and culture. Both Museums attract many visitors, especially during the summer.

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20 The Ridings, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Kent, TN12 6YB
OR Vatera - Polichnitos, Lesvos 81 300 - Greece


+ 44 7831426192 - UK + 30 22520 61120 / 61121 + 30 6945479497

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