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Cypriot Artist’s Road Leads To Rome

As part of her duties as one of the priests at All Saints’ Anglican Church in Rome Rev Dana English regularly preaches and presides at the Anglican Centre in the city. Dana and her family spent the Christmas vacation of 2012 in Greece. While staying in Athens, Dana viewed “Facing Byzantium,” an exhibition of the work of Lefteris Olympios, at the Byzantine Museum. She was struck by the themes of his work.

When proposals were being made for ways to enhance the celebration of the Anglican Centre’s 50th anniversary, Dana thought of Lefteris’s paintings in the Athens exhibition and felt that they would be especially appropriate as a visual representation of the basic mission of the Centre, reconciliation. So, bringing this important artist to Rome with an opportunity for such an ecumenical city put these seven visual representations of the hope all branches of the Christian Church share with all the religious faiths of the Mediterranean world. Lefteris Olympios and his artwork was warmly welcomed in Rome before, during, and after The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in January 2016.

In his new artistic work on Hospitality, pictured above the artist combines patterns from two thematic axes, with the symbol of the Ichthys figuring prominently in the iconographic representation of the Hospitality of Abraham. In the new composition, within a room suffused with warm orange and red tones, the set table of the Hospitality is brimming with fish offered to the Angels, while outside the windows the beholder can see nothing but the desert. Hell is somewhere out there…

Below, in the Matter of Choice the artist explored the right to freedom of religion, freedom and religious tolerance. The iconographic type of Saints Constantine and Helen prevail across the entire surface of the work; only now, in the new proposition, the figure of the emperor Constantine is diminished as opposed to that of his mother, Helen, which in the draft is doused in yellow golden light.