Theodore Poulakis:  A Journey to Traditional  Greek Art 


Theodore Poulakis, the father of the Heptanese School, takes us on a journey of traditional Greek art.

Reel back in time with the magnificent work of Theodore Poulakis, the father of the Heptanese School, and one of the most talented painters to emerge from Venetian Crete during the Renaissance era. Poulakis was a master of his craft and a trailblazer in his own right. Alongside his contemporary, Emmanuel Tzanes, he was one of the leading lights of the Cretan School, until the war with the Ottomans forced him to flee to Corfu.

Poulakis’ work is a testament to the power and beauty of the Venetian School, and over 130 of his paintings have survived to this day, scattered throughout the world. But his influence stretches far beyond his prolific output, as he played a key role in the transition from the traditional maniera greca to the more refined and sophisticated style of the Heptanese School.

From his birth in Chania Crete to his time in Venice, where he was a member of the Quaranta council, Poulakis’ life was one of passion and creativity. He signed a six-year contract to teach painting to Marinos Damistras’ son Tzorzi, and even inspired the work of other renowned Greek painters like Georgios Klontzas.

Poulakis’ paintings are full of life, with fuller shapes and variations of color that set him apart from the traditional maniera greca. His work, such as Hymn to the Virgin, showcases the Greek tradition, while also breaking new ground. The Birth of Isaac, Adam and Eve, and Noah’s Ark are perfect examples of the transitional period of the Cretan School to the more refined and sophisticated art of the Heptanese School.

10 Majestic Artworks of Theodore Poulakis


1. Noah’s Ark

Theodore Poulakis, Noah's Ark
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related: Sandro Botticelli: A Renaissance Master’s Legacy

2. Death of Mosses

Theodore Poulakis, Death of Mosses
Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. In Thee Rejoiceth

Theodore Poulakis, In thee Rejoiceth
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related: Who Were the Phoenician People in the Bible?

4. St. John The Baptist

Theodore Poulakis, St.John The Baptist
Source: Wikimedia Commons

5. The Archangel Michael

Theodore Poulakis, Archangel Michael
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related: Bread-Making in the Prehistoric Natufian Culture

6. The Nativity of Christ

The Nativity of Christ, Theodore Poulakis
Source: Wikimedia Commons

7. The Fall of Man 

The Fall of Man, Theodore Poulakis
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related: 10 Remarkable Phoenician Artifacts

8. God Creates Adam

Theodore Poulakis, Adam
Source: Wikimedia Commons

9. God Creates Eve

Theodore Poulakis, Eve painting
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Related: Sanliurfa: The Ancient City of Prophets

10. Birth of Issac

Birth of Issac, Theodore Poulakis
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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