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 Demetrios Emmanuel Galanis  (1882 - 1966)

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Lived/Active: New York / Greece/France      Known for: landscape, still life and figure painting, printmaking

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Emmanuel Galanis Demetrios, also known as Demetrius Emmanuel Galanis, was a Greek painter who became a naturalized Frenchman.  He was  born in Athens on 22 May 1882 and died in Paris on 20 March 1966.  First a satirical cartoonist and landscape painter, he later became involved in printmaking including woodcuts, etchings and mezzotints.

In Paris, he entered the studio of Fernand Cormon at the School of Fine Arts in 1900.  He worked in collaboration with food comic or satirical French newspapers such as L'Assiette au Beurre, Le Cri de Paris], Gil Blas, Le Rire, Le Canard Sauvage, and German publications, such as Simplicissimus, Lustige Blätter.  Meanwhile, Galanis also produced advertising posters.

From 1904 he exhibited at the Salon of the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and also at the Salon d'Automne, and the Salon of Comedians at the Salon des Independents

In Paris, Galanis frequented intellectual circles and met Jean Moreas, Derain, Matisse, Nonda and Maillol.  His aesthetic is closer to that of Matisse than Maillol.  Galanis is the first artist of Greek origin to be recognized as a full member of the European avant-garde.  In 1912, he participated with the Cubist exhibition at the Section d'Or.   His work consists mainly of painted landscapes, especially of the south of France, and still lifes, which he exhibited at the Salon des Independents in 1914.  During the First World War , he joined the Foreign Legion and in Corfu, he acquired French citizenship.

Upon his return from the War, Galanis abandoned cartoons and worked in printmaking, first doing woodcuts and then etchings . For burning wood, he uses an illustration technique of the nineteenth century.

In 1920, the year he completed his Seated Nude, he participated in an exhibition alongside other proponents of modern art such as Matisse and Braque.  In 1921, he exhibited with Juan Gris, Dufy, Chagall and Picasso.

In early 1920, well known in France, Galanis prepared submissions to Brussels, London and New York.  In 1922, he had his first solo gallery exhibition, which was at The Unicorn and which raised the enthusiasm of critics and reinforced his reputation.  In his preface to the exhibition catalog, Andre Malraux, Minister of Culture, describes his work as "being capable of causing emotions similar to those of Giotto."

For the International Exhibition of Paris in 1937, Galanis produced four stamps and one of them, Genius, was issued September 15, 1936.

Professor at the National School of Fine Arts, he was elected a member of the Academy of Fine Arts in 1945.

His son Jean-Sebastien Galanis, engaged in the French Navy, disappeared at sea in a submarine during the Second World War.


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