ETERNAL LOVER OF BEAUTY
The documentary film by Minos Papas, award-winning Cypriot director who is based in New York, highlights the life and work of the Russian-Cyprian painter/poet Symeon Volchkov by way of lavish visuals, as befits a film about a painter. Not simply a historical document that unfolds a rich and intricate portrait of a multi-talented artist during the period when he lived in Cyprus, it is the result of what happens when art inspires creativity, and as such affords us aesthetic enjoyment and multiple emotions.
The visual feast of colour in the paintings of the great Philhellene, who lived in Cyprus and loved Cyprus like no other, devoting thirty three years of his creative life to his Cyprus Epic, is not the spectator’s sole reward. There is also the sound of the verses he dedicated to Cyprus, a complete cycle of poems which he called Cyprus Sonata, recited on the soundtrack by the late Leandros Panayides, that talented actor with the tenderly melodic voice.
The sound of music also accompanies us on this wonderful journey in the footsteps of the painter who, pilgrim-like, travelled the island from east to west, from its northern to its southern shores, his explorer’s eye drinking in the unmatched beauties of Cypriot nature - the music for violin composed and performed by Symeon Volchkov’s grandson, the well-known musician and violinist Antonis Bargilly.
Through interviews with distinguished people who knew the artist and speak of him with love, the film paints a portrait of Symeon Volchkov, the artist who bequeathed to us his portrait of Cyprus. The director skilfully links the majesty of nature with the majesty of the painter’s unique art so that we can see how a particular landscape inspires a painting. Thanks to the gifted vision and insight of the painter combined with the romantic disposition of his generous soul, countless sunsets and moonlit nights bathe the historic scenery with their nostalgic light, increasing the love we feel for our country through the beauty gifted us by the artist. It is exactly this feeling which a visitor to one of his exhibitions expressed thus: “You have taught us to love our country more than ever, and for that we are grateful.”
In our column "When Art inspires Creativity" it is our aim, as a branch of the Symeon Volchkov Art House, to gather on the painter’s website creative works which were inspired by his own work, and donated voluntarily. With this opportunity we make mention of all those artists from different spheres who were inspired by the work of Symeon Volchkov and created their own works of art free of charge. By directly referencing this poet and painter they provide information about his personality and demonstrate the extent to which his art creates an impact on the hearts of men.
Art has always provided stimulation to artists whether of the same or later periods, providing timeless inspiration to young creators. Aeschylus, for example, one of the three greatest tragedians of ancient Greece, said of himself and his peers (Sophocles, Euripides) that their works were merely crumbs from the rich banquet of Homer, undoubtedly paying tribute to that great poet of ancient Greece and inexhaustible source of inspiration who, as the passage of time has shown, was both prophet and psychologist, the creator of unrepeatable human characters.
We invite people of the arts and letters, as well as academic researchers, to contribute through this column their Volchkov-inspired references and works of art, and to send their creations in the areas of art and science to the directors of the Symeon Volchkov Art House Centre of Studies, so that we may present them by the end of 2019 and award the most interesting. Address: PO Box No.
This competition is carried out in the framework of cultural events celebrating the memory of Symeon Volchkov, painter and poet, which take place in Cyprus throughout 2019, on the centenary of his birth. All the worthy creations and studies will be displayed on the artist’s website and also preserved in the archives of the Symeon Volchkov Art House. Prizes for the competition - which is held for the first time this year on the occasion of the great anniversary - as well as its closing date, will be announced on our website during this centenary year 2019.
Below we present all those creations dedicated to Symeon Volchkov and his works, freely given for the most part, motivated solely by the emotion engendered by the artist and his personality, with the desire to express their love for him. As the shaping of words is an important art in itself and the translation of poetry is considered re-creation, we will in this column make extensive reference to literary compositions, prose and poetry, which are already presented on our website in other columns. Certain other creative references which are not presented in other columns will be hosted here as authentic optical material, albeit in a fragmentary fashion.
Kleitos Ioannides, poet, researcher, Doctor of Philosophy, President of the Philosophical Company of Cyprus - article “Symeon Volchkov - Poet and Painter” (Enateniseis, 2009, Issue No 7, Kykko Monastery) Website www.paintingsofsymeonvolchkov.com Menu: “Editions and Publications”
2. Irena Ioannidou - Translation into English of the article by Kleitos Ioannides “Symeon Volchkov - Painter and Poet” Menu: “Editions and Publications”
3. Isabella Bargilly, grand-daughter of the painter-poet - Generous contribution by translating all the website texts into English Website
4. Chrysothemis Hadjipanayi, poet and distinguished literary critic, President of the Cyprus Hellenic Cultural Association Generous contribution with a critical article
with detailed and meticulous analysis of the work of Symeon Volchkov which constitutes the prologue to the bi-lingual anthology of his poetry “Albatross”, 2003,
Melissa, Greece. Website www.paintingsofsymeonvolchkov.com
5. Evfemios Bernstein, poet and professor at Tver University in Russia Article in Russian “The Two Muses of Symeon Volchkov” critical analysis of the work of
Symeon Volchkov which constitutes the epilogue of the bi-lingual anthology of poetry “Albatross”, 2003, Melissa, Greece. Website
6. Lara Bargilly, philologist, poet, daughter of Symeon Volchkov
Generous contribution by translating and editing all the website texts into Russian
translation of her father’s poetry into Greek, as published in the bi-lingual anthology of poetry “Albatross”, 2003, Melissa, Greece
poems dedicated to her father, Symeon Volchkov (translated from Greek into Russian by herself) (see the presentation on this page).
7. George Moleskis, distinguished and award-winning poet Generous contribution by translating into Greek a series of poems by Symeon Volchkov, included in the bi-
lingual anthology of poetry “Albatross”, 2003, Melissa, Greece. Website www.paintingsofsymeonvolchkov.com
8. Minos Papas, award-winning film director. Full length documentary on the life and work of Symeon Volchkov entitled “Eternal Lover of Beauty” (see video
excerpts this column after the world premiere in May 2019. Website www.paintingsofsymeonvolchkov.com
9. Antonis Bargilly, qualified musician, teacher of violin, member of the Symphony Orchestra of Cyprus since 2002 - first violin, composer and performer in a series of
personal concerts, and grand-son of Symeon Volchkov - Generous contribution with musical score and performance in the documentary about his grandfather Symeon
Volchkov, “Eternal Lover of Beauty” Website www.paintingsofsymeonvolchkov.com
10. Adamos Katsantonis, composer and pianist Generous contribution with his own setting to music of certain poems by Symeon Volchkov which were presented at the
cultural memorial of Symeon Volchkov in 2004 with participation of the actor George Mouaimy and the soprano Ioly Mousteri (the poems “No, you are not dead!”
and “Free Fall”) Website www.paintingsofsymeonvolchkov.com
11. Andreas Charalambous, eminent Cypriot painter
Presentation of the painterly work of Symeon Volchkov with chronological/expert analysis and on-screen projection during a seminar organised in 2013 by the Society
of Cyprus Studies on the subject “Cultural ties between Russia and Cyprus from Byzantium to Today”. Andreas Charalambous’ modified address is presented
under the Menu “Editions and Publications”. Website www.paintingsofsymeonvolchkov.com
11. Evgenios Novichihin, poet, author, columnist, screenwriter, award-winning artist of the Russian Federation, and of many literary prizes, Vice President of the Writers’
Union of Voronezh in the Russian Federation.
Voluntary contribution: poem written in Russian “In Memory of the Painter-Poet Symeon Vasilyevich Volchkov”.
Translated into Greek by Lara Bargilly
Translated into English by Susan Papas
There follow works dedicated to the painter-poet Symeon Volchkov on the website page "When Art inspires Creativity"