Nikiforos Lytras (Νικηφόρος Λύτρας) (1832 Tinos 14.6.1904),
Nikiforos Lytras or Nikiphoros Lytras (1832–1904) was a nineteenth century Greek painter born in Tinos, and trained in Athens at the School of Arts. In 1860 he won a scholarship to Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Munich. After completing these studies, he became a professor at the School of Arts in 1866, a position he held for the rest of his life. He remained faithful to the precepts and principles of the academaism of Munich, while paying greatest attention both to ethographic themes and portraiture. His most famous portrait was of the royal couple, Otto and Amalia, and his most wel-known landscape a depiction of the region of Lavrio.
Nikiphoros Lytras was a child of a popular marble sculptor. In 1850 to the age of eighteen years he went to Athens to study in the School of Arts. He studied painting with Ludwing Thierch and Raffaelo Ceccoli. With his graduation in 1856 he started teaching there the course of Elementary Writing. In 1836 with a Greek government’s scholarship he went to Munich to study in the Royal Academy Of Fine Arts. His teacher there was Karl von Piloty. In 1862 after King Otto was exiled the scholarship was no longer available to Lytra so the expenses undertook the ambassador of Greece in Vienna Simon Sinas. In the summer of 1865 before his return to Greece he meets Nicholaos Gysis in Munich. There they visited and studied a lot of art masterpieces. With his return in Athens Lytras became professor in the Athens School of Fine Arts in the department of Painting and he taught there for 38 years. In 1873 and for four years he travelled to Smyrna and Minor Asia, Munich and Egypt with Nicholaos Gysis. In 1879 he married Irene Kyriakidi daughter of a tradesman from Smyrna and they had six children.
His son Nicolaos Lytras followed in his footsteps by also studying at the Munich academy of Fine Arts and also heading the Athens School of Art. In later life he founded the 'Art Group', which many years later in 1919 exhibited in Paris, with participants including the engraver Demetrios Galanis, a friend of Derain, Braque and Picasso and a member of the French Academy. The nineteenth-century painters Ioannis Altamouras and Periklis Pantazis (both of whom died young) may be regarded as forerunners of this group.
Nikiphoros Lytras died in the age of 72 in the summer of 1904, after a short illness that is believed to have been caused by colours’ chemicals substances. After his death Georgios Jakobides took his place in Athens School of Fine Arts.
* Official Tinos site (in Greek)
Galatas (Ο Γαλατάς) 1895.53 cm x 37 cm, National Gallery and Alexander Soutsos Museum
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/"