MICHAEL LEKAKIS Zeus (Jupiter) ca. 1950 [R/F] - x +
LekM1950zeus 1974 Tsernov Gallery

CN: LekM1950zeus

MT: ink on paper (78x57 / 100x78x3)

TX: inscribed at lower left of picture in circular fashion in Greek <ZEUS>, stamped at rear upper center in English <LEKAKIS / AUTHENTICATED BY / CATHERINE L. HIOS>, signed with pencil below <Catherine Lekakis Hios>

DN: Mr. Takis Efstathiou in honor of Mr. Mikis Theodorakis - 2006

CM: In the evening of Saturday, 7 October 2006, the architect/artist Dimitris Talaganis inaugurated the Museum - International Center Mikis Theodorakis, which he curated, at Zatouna of Dimitsana Precinct in the District of Arcadia. Great sensation was caused by the speech of Mikis Theodorakis, who referred to Zeus as the one responsible for the torrential rain during the ceremony, as well as to Pan, whose presence - he said - is always felt in Arcadia. Present at that ceremony and moved by the inspired speech of Theodorakis was Mr. Takis Efstathiou, who decided to donate to the ACG Art Collection Michael Lekakis' drawing inscribed 'ZEUS' in honor of the great Greek music composer, whom he first met in 1974 at his Tchernov Gallery, at 57th Street of New York (see reference photograph above).

According to Homer, Zeus was considered the father of gods and mortals, in the sense of being the protector and ruler both of the Olympian family and of the human race. He was lord of the sky, the rain god, and the cloud gatherer, who wielded the terrible thunderbolt. His breastplate was the aegis, his bird the eagle, his tree the oak. Zeus presided over the gods on Mount Olympus in Thessaly. His principal shrines were at Dodona of Epirus, the land of the oak trees and the most ancient shrine, famous for its oracle, and at Olympia, where the Olympic Games were celebrated in his honor every fourth year.

This picture of Zeus is one of Lekakis most accomplished portraits. Limiting his colors to black and white, Lekakis merely suggests the likeness of the supreme god. The strength of this portrait of Zeus rests on fact that -though the inscription of the name confirms its completion- his face calls to be completed by the beholders' imagination, like an unfinished masterpiece. What is more, the flesh has been fashioned in an original way -typical of Lekakis- that is evocative less so of portraiture rather than landscape.

[Megakles 10/2006]