Saturday, 31 December 2011


“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.” - Confucius

Nikiphoros Lytras (Greek: Νικηφόρος Λύτρας; 1832, Pyrgos, Tinos – June 13, 1904, Athens) was a nineteenth century Greek painter. He was born on Tinos Island, and trained in Athens at the School of Arts. In 1860 he won a scholarship to Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Munich. After completing these studies, he became a professor at the School of Arts in 1866, a position he held for the rest of his life. He remained faithful to the precepts and principles of the academicism of Munich, while paying greatest attention both to ethographic themes and portraiture. His most famous portrait was of the royal couple, Otto and Amalia, and his most well-known landscape a depiction of the region of Lavrio.

In this well-known genre of painting of his, the “Calanda” (= carol singing) he depicts a household scene with great humour and many touching elements. The young singers could singing Christmas or New Year’s carols. Let’s pretend is the traditional Greek New Year’s carol, widely sung by children who still go a-carolling on New Year’s Day:

New Year's Carol

Start of the month and start of the year,
My tall rosemary bush!
And start of the year, a good year,
In church, in church with the holy throne!

Start of the year, when Christ came
Most holy and spiritual;
To walk on earth
And to make our heart good.

St Basil is coming
And welcomes all of us,
He comes from Caesarea,
And you milady are noble woman!

He holds an icon and writing paper,
Sugar candy and a baked cake.
The writing paper and the ink,
Look at me the young brave lad!

The ink wrote on the paper,
My fortune all it wrote,
And the paper talked to me,
My white St Basil!

This post is part of the Psalm Sunday meme.


  1. I like the way the careful cropping of the painting drew attention to different elements. Wonderful painting - so full of life.

  2. Great post!
    My best wishes to you for 2012!:-)

  3. How very wonderful an entry ! Thanking you very much for your kind participation and sharing this. Please have you all a good new year ahead.

  4. Thanks for sharing.
    This is the first time I see his work.
    Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year, Nic ~ may 2012 bring you all that you wish and hope for ~ xoxo

  6. Thanks for this thoroughly enjoyable post!

  7. Fine post.
    A great and glorious new year to you and yours.