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Thanasis Zisis inspired by Historic Cafés and famous painters

Oil on canvas

A Historic Café, – Kafeneion “O Εrmis”, member of HCR – has inspired a colorful artist, Thanasis Zisis, to create a unique painting “hosting” very famous paintings as well as many artists.

The set is the Greek Historic Café in Mytilene where Van Gogh, Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo have been… invited to participate as well as, Klimt, Modigliani, Munch, Gauguin, etc.

The Inspiration

When I saw the traditional Café “Hermes” in Mytilini, I was overwhelmed by many beautiful feelings, warm feelings as warm is this beautiful Café. Quickly, an idea came to life in my mind; to paint this distinguished place, full of wonderful light and tranquility but at the same time to give life to an older wish of mine. To create a painting with fragments of works of famous painters! So, I made a study, a tribute to great works of great painters and to the artists themselves that we all loved! These works, 11 in number, are either on the walls of the Cafe as paintings, or as guests or objects! 

The Painting

1) The chair is “Van Gogh’s chair” (National Gallery London), 2) The vase is from the work “The Blue Vase” by Cézanne (Paris, Louvre), 3) Van Gogh himself sitting and enjoying his coffee is “Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear”, (Courtauld Gallery, London), 4) Van Gogh’s “Cafe Terrace”. (Krüler-Müller Museum in Otterlo), 5) “The Kiss” by Klimt (Vienna Belvedere Gallery), 6) “Jeanne Hébuterne with a Hat” by Modigliani (Japan, private collection), 7) Munch’s “Separation” (Oslo, Munch Museum), 8) The famous painting “When will you get married?” Gauguin recently sold for $300 million. (Qatar museum), 9) The “patron” Frida Kahlo is from her Self-portrait ii (private collection), 10) Frida’s shirt from her own painting Self-portrait with monkeys (Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico), 11) Frida Kahlo’s work Still Life With Parrot And Fruit (University of Texas at Austin) on the table.  Salvador Dali is  also “present”.

The artist

Thanasis Zisis, was born in Trikala in 1963. He studied Physics at the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of the Kapodistrian University of Athens. He worked as a teacher of Physics and Informatics in private and public education. His love for art turned him from his student days to painting!

Self-taught, but with a deep study of paintings, he dealt with almost all subjects, such as landscapes, human figures, portraits, realistic as well as symbolic and abstract depictions. More naturalistic in his early works, he applied, as he developed, color in greater intensity and depth thereafter. He paints exclusively with oils on canvas. Many of his works adorn private collections and public spaces. The retrospective exhibition of his works is expected on Easter 2023 at the Tsitsani Museum of Trikala.

Social Media

As the artist, Thanasis Zisis, writes on his Facebook profile:

In gloomy times, such as the one we are currently living in, art in general and of course painting is a method of psychotherapy and a way out of the mundane and suffocating everyday life!

So let’s escape for a while and have a coffee at the “Artistic Cafe”!

In my painting, the paintings on the walls of the cafe were replaced by paintings of famous painters (Van Gogh, Klimt, Modigliani, Munch, Gauguin), some of whom as you can see are also patrons of the Café (Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo )! Also, many objects in the space are “taken” from famous paintings, such as Van Gogh’s chair, Cézanne’s flowerpot and Frida Kahlo’s fruit!

Of course, you need a high resolution to see all this clearly. If you “download” the image, it will be better. Anyway, I’m posting the photo sideways to increase the size.

By the way, this Café exists! Of course, without the works of the great painters, but sufficiently artistic and beautiful! It’s called Ermis, it’s located in Mytilini and it recently earned a place on the National Intangible Cultural Heritage of Greece!

Thanks to the management of the Café for allowing me to use their beautiful space in my painting!

“The Artistic Cafe”, oil on canvas, 110 x 70 cm.

You can find Thanasis Zisis on Facebook and also on Instagram


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