Heidi Trautmann

533 - Adamantios Diamantis -The World of Cyprus - Exhibition at the Leventis Museum in Nicosia-South

By Heidi Trautmann


This artist’s name was mentioned to me more than once when I gathered information for my book ‘Art and Creativity in North Cyprus’, especially by Çevdet Çağdaş, who had him as an art teacher in Güzelyurt/Morphou in the 1940s and who recommended him for a scholarship to England. “He was an extraordinary artist.” Çevdet still says today. Çevdet Çağdaş was born in 1926.

I had seen some of the work of Adamantios Diamantis in art books and so I was very pleased to see his work in the original. I had heard that the work on display at the Leventis Museum is his biggest art work. It is a monumental work consisting of 11 panels (17.5 m long) and was created in Cyprus between 1967 and 1972. Adamantios Diamantis (1900-1994), who was an art teacher in many secondary schools and also Director of the Folk Art Museum, travelled across the island and studied the people and their lives. He tried to depict the simplicity of life, the values of the patriarchal family, the place of women in the home and in society in general, the importance of family and all the beliefs that comprised Cypriot society of the 1970s.

The painting of this monumental work comprising altogether 67 figures, took him five years. He used the sketches he has done on his travels; people of a village, sitting and standing in a village square, with village and landscape painted in the background. The background is painted in soft earth colours with the contours in black, just indicated in order not to distract from the figures. The figures are life size, also in black and brown as it was the custom, nothing colourful, the big combining colour is white, the white of the blouses, the white of beards and hair, an apron of a girl. I was not allowed to take pictures at the exhibition and I could not get a picture of the entire work, but only fragments, but perhaps just these fragments may make people curious to see the whole.

The monumental work has a background story which goes like this:

......'The World of Cyprus' was presented for the first time at the Cyprus Folk Art Museum in Nicosia in 1975. It then left for Greece to be exhibited at the National Gallery in Athens and was subsequently acquired by the Teloglion Foundation of Art at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. The critical situation in Cyprus following the Turkish invasion of 1974 was deemed as creating insecure and unpredictable conditions for the return of the painting to its home. However, there was a verbal promise to Diamantis himself that the work would return to Cyprus when the conditions on the island were considered safe.
Now this promise has been fulfilled – thanks to an agreement between the Teloglion Foundation of Art and the A. G. Leventis Foundation – and 'The World of Cyprus' has returned to its people and its home, at a time of crisis, when we need to draw strength from our ancestors and confront as a society this difficult situation…..”
A cooperation between the A.G. Leventis Gallery and the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia the exhibition 'THE WORLD OF CYPRUS by Adamantios Diamantis RETURNS' is a temporary one on the second floor of the Leventis Museum from 24 April 2013 until the beginning of October 2013, when the famous artwork will be transported to its new home, the A. G. Leventis Gallery, as part of The Cyprus Collection.


The Leventis Museum is at the end of Ledra Street, the last side street to the left; the museum consists of two buildings now which once belonged to the first mayor of Nicosia in late 1800.

Besides the exhibition, the museum will take some hours to visit, it is beautifully renovated and equipped with modern temperature and humidity control systems; most beautiful collections of artefacts from various important periods. A true treasure chest, a very sensitive and artistic architect must have been at work.

There is another exhibition on display in the basement where there is also an educational centre, the original drawings and water colours of an architecture book of Cypriot buildings, villages and also landscapes.

I trust that Adamantios Diamantis would have agreed with me that the arts know of no borders, although he was a Greek Cypriot through and through.


The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia
Tuesday – Sunday, 10.00 – 16.30 | Wednesday, 10.00 – 22.00


Adamantios with some studies of his
Adamantios with some studies of his 'World of Cyprus'

One of his village paintings
One of his village paintings

Detail of "World of Cyprus"
Detail of "World of Cyprus"

'World of Cyprus' left part

'World of Cyprus' right part

Web Site Counter(web site counter)  [impressum