Nikolaos Chimonas

Born: 1864, Eupatoria (Crimea)
Died: 1929, Skyros (Greece)

Greek painter, graphic artist, teacher. Son of Petros Chimonas (officer in the Greek Battalion of Balaklava who took part in the defence of Sebastopole during the Crimean War) and Photinia Vasilkioti (Greek woman from the Crimean village of Karan whose ancestors fled to Russia in 1774). Born in Eupatoria (1864) and christened at the Greek cathedral of St Nicholas (1864). Moved to St Petersburg (1889), where he studied in the head class of the Baron Stieglitz Central School of Technical Drawing (1889–90) and landscape painting under Ivan Shishkin and Arkhip Kuinji at the Imperial Academy of Arts (1890–97). Awarded a minor encouragement medal (1892) and the title of class artist (1897). Taught at the School of Drawing of the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (1897–1919), where he headed the decorative painting studio and held the post of class inspector. Visited Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and Paris (1898) and Finland (1901). Married Olga Khitrovo (great-great-granddaughter of Prince Mikhail Kutuzov) and settled at 4 Obvodnaya Street in Pavlovsk (1902), where Nikolai Nedobrovo met Anna Akhmatova (1903). Lived and worked in Greece (1904–05). Founding member of the Arkhip Kuinji Society (1909, director from 1916). Painted landscapes with Arkhip Kuinji in Yalta (1910). Academician (1915). Visited Nicholas Roerich in the Finnish town of Sortavala (1916). Moved to Eupatoria (1919), where he painted an icon of the Virgin for the Greek church of St Elijah the Prophet (1919). Emigrated to Greece (1920), where he was patronised by Prince Nicholas of Greece and Denmark and painted landscapes on Mount Parnassus, Poros, Peloponnese, Crete, Corfu, Santorini, Lefkada, Delos, Mykonos, Aegina, Messolonghi, Mystras, Santorini, Arachova, Andros, Laconia and Parga (1920s). Died of malaria while working on the island of Skyros and buried in an unmarked grave (1929). Contributed to exhibitions (from 1893). Contributed to the exhibitions of the Society of Russian Watercolourists (1893–1918), Imperial Academy of Arts (1897–1917), Munich Sezession (1908), Salon du Champ de Mars (1908), Vladimir Izdebsky Salon (1909–10), Arkhip Kuinji Society (1917, 1918), Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (1917, 1918), First State Free Exhibition of Works of Art (1919), international exhibition in Munich (1908, gold medal), Annual International Exhibitions of Paintings at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh (1910, 1911; listed in the catalogue as “Nicolaus Chimona”), one-man shows at the Parnassos Cultural Centre in Athens (1921, 1925–26, 1926–27), Hellenic Ministry of Agriculture in Athens (1923), Beaux Arts Gallery in London (1924?, 1928), Stratigopoulou Gallery in Athens (1928) and memorial exhibitions at the Syntakton Gallery in Athens (1929) and Arlington Gallery in London (1930).

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