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Christos Kapralos Museum Aegina island Greece
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Christos Kapralos Museum of Aegina

Text by Souzana Raphael *

This museum is located on the northwest coast of Aegina, along the main coast road. It consists of six chambers - the sculptor's workshops - while the landscaping surrounding them was designed by the sculptor. He left a collection of approximately 7,500 works to the Greek people on establishing his foundation. The visitor to the Kapralos Museum of Aegina may view works spanning the years 1963-93. His copper statue, The Mother, placed on a square opposite the museum by the sea, symbolizes the Greek mother, a woman who toils in devotion to her family.

Christos Kapralos (Capralos) was born in 1909, in Panaitolio, a village near the city of Agrinio, in the Greek province of Etolo Akarnania. Though from a poor family, he expressed a great interest in art as a child, and was given a scholarship to study fine arts by the Papastratos brothers, who were major benefactors in Agrinio. He studied painting from 1929-34 at the Athens School of Fine Arts, and sculpture from 1934-40 at the Grande Chaumiere and Colsrossi Academies. He returned to Greece from Paris to fight in WWII, and went back to his village after the defeat of the Greek front, where, with the help of his brother, he built a hut from mud and canes, which he used as his "art laboratory". His first models were his mother and his best friend, Christophoros, who spent many hours posing for him, as well as other relatives and villagers.

During the war years, Kapralos completed significant works of art, including a series of small anaglyphs on cast, which depicted wartime events in Greece. His unique talent was recognized upon exhibition of his work in Athens in 1946, and the mayor of Athens, Konstantinos Kotzias, provided him with a building plot on his personal property in the district of Koukaki, where Kapralos' art laboratory is still located.

After the exhibition, Kapralos decided to enlarge his famous anaglyphs and worked from 1951-56 completing his epic 40- meter composition, "The Monument of the Battle of Pindos".

In 1962 he was invited to represent Greece in the international art exhibition, Biennale in Venice, an important landmark in his career, where his works received high praise. Offers of work in Europe and in America followed, along with articles about him in the international press. In 1963, with his earnings from the Biennale, Kapralos realized his dream to buy his own art studio in Aegina, and proceeded from that time to spend half the year in Athens and half on the island. He participated in the San Paolo Biennale in Spain in 1975. By the end of his life Kapralos had six art studios and his works were exhibited internationally.

Kapralos worked in wood (the larger works made from eucalyptus), Aeginitan "pouri" (sandstone), gypsum, copper and stone (including stones from the sea) while some of the works displayed in the courtyard of the museum are of Parian marble. There are also paintings, terracotta and ceramic pieces.

In 1991, he established the Christos and Souli Kapralos Foundation in Aegina and opened the Christos Kapralos Museum which hosts many of his sculptures, including the "Monument to Combat of Pindos", a series of wooden and stone sculptures, inspired by the Greek Resistance during WWII. Other works of Christos Kapralos are found in USA museums and in private collections. He died in 1993.

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June - October  
Tuesday - Sunday 10:00 - 14:00 & 18:00 - 20:00
Monday closed
November - May 10:00 - 14:00
Friday, Saturday & sunday  
December closed
Telephone Aegina: (+30) 22970 22001
Telephone Aegina: (+30) 22970 53667
Telephone Athens: (+30) 210 9239041

Among the greatest of 20th century Greek artists, Christos Kapralos (1909-1993) worked in this studio on Aegina's north coast every summer for 30 years. Located 1 km east of the lighthouse in Plakakia, and marked by a large bronze statue of his mother.
The museum displays many different pieces of art. Included in this gallery are paintings, drawings ceramics, and sculptures in stone and eucalyptus wood works of exceptional power and sensitivity. All of these works of art are inspired by ancient art and mythology, the tragedy of war, the nurturing love of mother and child, and the natural forms of trees and the human body. The working atmosphere has remained in these simple buildings, among his tools, furniture and sketchbooks. The garden, which is Kapralos designed, overlooks a vast, brilliant expanse of sea and the statue of the mother.

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