Moralis Yannis (1916-2009)

The man who always held the limelight


  • One of Greece’s most notable artists, whose 35-year teaching career at the Fine Art School of Athens decisively shaped the artistic landscape of the country.
  • His early influences included Geraniotis, Parthenis and Argyros; he met Tsarouchis, Nikolaou and many others early on.
  • In 1949, he became a founding member of the “Armos” art group, along with Engonopoulos, Gigkas, Nikolaou, Tsarouchis, and Tetsis.
  • As of 1951, Moralis launched into many fruitful cooperations, designing theatrical sets and costumes for various companies as well as illustrating books for the Ikaros publishing house, notably works by Odysseas Elytis and Giorgos Seferis. He would later come to cooperate with notable architects, decorating public buildings. He would also teach.
  • It is noteworthy that although Moralis took a long time to organize his own shows (the first being in 1959), his works were part of many collective exhibitions (starting 1932). In these, he always held the limelight, earning significant praise. He represented Greece at the 1958 Venice Biennale, with Tsarouchis and Soxos (a sculptor).
  • In 1965, he was awarded the rank of brigadier of the Order of the Phoenix. In 1979, the Athens Academy awarded him the Excellence in Arts. His works have been acquired by a number of museums in Greece and beyond.
  • In 2006, the movie Yannis Moralis, by S. Charalambopoulou, was presented at the 8th international festival for Documentary Films in Thessaloniki.