Stratis Eleftheriadis – Teriade
In addition to his publishing activities, Teriade (real name Stratis Eleftheriadis) was also an avid collector of the works of known artists. The Museum which he bequeathed to his hometown hosts part of this remarkable collection of masterpieces by the likes of Yiannis Tsarouhis, Orestis Kanellis, George Vakirtztis, and other great Greek artists representative of their time.
It was Teriade who first recognized Theofilos as a genuine representative of folk art and brought him to the attention of the international art scene; it was he who first saw that Theofilos’ works embodied the Byzantine tradition of wall painting, the techniques of the past and also the colors of Greek art.
We owe him the discovery and promotion of the great Mytilenian painter – Greece’s national one could argue; it is solely due to Teriade that Theofilos was rescued from obscurity and that his works did not perish forever.
In Teriade’s own words “Theofilos has the emotion of folk music in his guts and the Byzantine icons and popular art in his eyes. He only sought to give his contemporaries the joy of the Greek light which he had unconsciously amassed in his soul and managed to transform into color. His authenticity is found in the artistic responsibility of his works.
The same as Henri Rousseau was recognized by the brave 1910 Parisian painters, Theofilos will be given a deserving place next to everything noble in the Greek art history from the Byzantine era to this day.