Cyprus through the Eyes of Russian Artists

In May, 2011 within the frames of Viacheslav Zarenkov project “Creative World” the plain air of St Petersburg artists was held in Cyprus. There was a good reason for artists to visit Cyprus in May. At this particular time Limassol held the Days of St Petersburg dedicated to relations development between two cities. St Petersburg and Limassol are united by common interests in the area of economy, culture and tourism.

Limassol as well as St Petersburg is the cultural capital of the country, a great number of museums and theaters is located here, different festivals are held on an annual basis. In addition Limassol is the most Russian-speaking city of Cyprus: about fifteen thousand Russians live here on a permanent basis and this is the place where the largest Russian community on the island is located. Limassol has. Limassol has a Russian school, Russian radio station and Russian church, opening of the Russian-speaking university and student exchange project is in plans. It should be mentioned that the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias studied in Russia some time ago. Orthodoxy is the main religion in Cyprus as well as in Russia. Close mentality, culture and religious views contribute to benevolence of the Cyprians and the Russians. On arrival at Cyprus St Petersburg artists were assigned with the task to create the exposition of a future exhibition. During the trip around the ancient land of Cyprus they saw monuments of antique and early Christian culture, paintings of the Byzantine age, fortress walls of medieval residences of knight Templars, went to the Troodos mountains, visited the oldest monasteries of Kykkos and Stavrovouni. Nature, historical events, life and traditions of people also became the inspiration sources. Result of work was fifty eight (!) pictures.

In June, 2011 works of St Petersburg artists Andrey Bazanov, Alexander Grishin, Dmitry Egupov, Julia Zarenkova and Victor Yamshchikov were presented at the exhibition in the Cultural center of Cyprus Panos Solomonidis (Limassol). Works of St Petersburg artists are full of energy and shine with sunlight. These pictures represent ancient ruins of Kourion, and columns of half-destroyed cathedrals, and Orthodox churches with domes, and comfortable patios of calm Cyprian streets.

Sights of magnificent Paphos – ancient city near the azure coastline of which according to the Greek mythology the goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite emerged from the sea foam. The blue of the sea reflects the azure of the sky, shadows are saturated with sun and sea cliffs shine with whiteness. As if one can hear the warm wind whispering in the burnt-over inshore grasses just looking at the seascapes. Exotic flowers are attracting to remote countries, thoughts are whirled away into the depth of centuries to a miraculous half-remembered dream.

The project of Viacheslav Zarenkov “Cyprus through the Eyes of Russian Artists” enabled to exceed the frames of conventional idea of the Mediterranean resorts and see original nature and ancient culture of this extraordinary place in a new light. Exhibition of works of St Petersburg artists was opened with the presentation attended by the Mayor of Limassol Andreas Christou, Petros Petrou, Vasos Argyridis, representatives of business community, scientific, educational and cultural institutions.

Performance of the Chamber Choir of the Smolny Cathedral and the instrumental quartet of Limassol became the official part of the program. Holding exhibition “Cyprus through the Eyes of Russian Artists” contributed to development of cultural relations between Russia and Cyprus, mutual insight into life, history and traditions of two states, strengthening of friendship and cooperation. Several thousand people attended the exhibition hall during the week.