Florentini Kaloutsi and the art of Crete-From the Minoan period to the present - Ιστορίες, Ρεπορτάζ, Σχολιασμός Κρήτης Blog | e-storieskritis.gr

Τετάρτη 30 Μαΐου 2018

Florentini Kaloutsi and the art of Crete-From the Minoan period to the present



She was one of those charismatic individuals that can forge contact among those who know and those who don’t.

Florentini Kaloutsi (1890-1971) lived in an era when the aesthetic values of the past continued to reverberate their consolatory messages, delighting the vision and the soul.

 She belongs to an epoch and a generation that worked hard to shape modern Greek aesthetics, drawing inspiration from the pictorial arts and the themes that were preserved in the incessant reserve of our cultutal heritage and, even more so, from the sense of contribution at a hard time, when the Greek people was struggling to formulate its being. 

Such romantic attempts are, however, vain, if not condemned in advance.

The Cretan artist Flerentini Kaloutsi set out in 1906, at a young age, to study at the Royal Academy of London. In 1911 she returned to the recently freed Crete and 3 years later she organized, in the heart of the city of Chania, an atelier of painting and a workshop for weaving. Painting, Weaving, woodcarving, three arts she serviced to the end.

Florentini felt the power of the female presence that dominated the matriarchal minoan society from religious ritual to everyday life, to bull-leaping and the family. She was influenced and inspired by it.

At the time, she conceived the impressive and pioneer idea to sketch minoan motifs in order to use them in contemporary Cretan handicraft. 

She was the first to get from London graph paper, to use it skillfully for her sketches. The double axe, the prince, the lilies, the dolphins, the octopuses, the flying fish, all of them typically minoan , were among Florentini’ s earliest designs.

Her artistic interests were not limited to minoan treasures. It is worth mentioning that among  her designs were sketches of archeological finds from all over Greece and Cyprus.

Since 1922 her workshop took the name "Diplous Pelekys" and under her guidance, enjoyed a long presence.

Besides weaving Kaloutsi also applied her designs in woodcarving, creating a new type of Cretan furniture. On transparent paper she sketched chairs, tables, closets, desks, bookcases, and proceeded to decorate them primarily with Cretan motifs. Under her guidance woodcarvers created beautiful pieces of Cretan furniture.

With her pioneer spirit Florentini Kaloutsi turned the power of this tradition into painting, embroidery, fabric and woodcarving. She made it a source of regeneration. She spoke about the art and civilization of our ancestors in our homes "without words" , with a cushion cover, a tablecloth, a curtain.

She made us experience the history of our land in everyday life. Simply and naturally she helped us realize who we are and where we are coming from. She made us relive the past in the present, in her own way. Without words

Bibliography: Florentini Kaloutsi and the art of Crete-From the Minoan period to the present, Benaki Museum, Athens 1999