Wall Art by Theo Michael, The Rehearsal

A trip to Nicosia from an artist's perspective

Our art inspired blog on 10 Things To Do In Larnaca takes us a little astray this week.

Most of Theo's paintings have been inspired by his local environment of Larnaca, but for a change, here are four paintings taking us further afield to the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, the last divided city in Europe.

 Nicosia Rooftops an oil painting by Theo from 2010

Mediterranean wall art by Theo Michael, Nicosia Rooftops

 This spectacular view over the rooftops of Nicosia can be enjoyed from the Shacolas Observatory Tower just of Ledra Street in the old part of the town.

Nicosia doesn't have many high rising buildings and this observatory on the 11th floor offers a superb and unrestricted 360 degree view right around the city. The view of Theo's painting takes you towards the Turkish occupied north with a focal point on St. Sophia Cathedral, a former Roman Catholic cathedral, now been converted into a mosque.
The observatory is well worth a visit, apart from the spectacular views it offers multilingual recordings detailing the history of Nicosia, as well as historical photos and touch screen maps. 

Also in the Turkish occupied area of Nicosia you will find Saray Square, subject of Theo's painting below. Saray Square, officially known as Atatürk Square, had been the administrative centre of the island for centuries.

Nicosia Square a painting in acrylic by Theo from 2016

Saray Square an acrylic painting by Theo Michael

 Theo's acrylic painting of Saray Square is his interpretation of an original photo by the Mangoian Brothers, a business established in 1924 that is still operating today in the Cypriot town centre of Nicosia. A shop selling high quality camera equipment as well as  photographic Cyprus prints of the Mangoian collection. 

 As well as the authentic 1950's feel of the original photo with the classic cars and the cyclist, it was the reflections of the wet street, and the sweeping angle that attracted Theo to paint this scene.


Another authentic oldtimer can be seen in Theo's painting below, featuring a typical  Nicosia entrance with a classic car in the foreground.

The Oldtimer a painting in acrylic by Theo from 2012

The Oldtimer, a Cypriot Door and classic car painting by Theo Michael

The shutters, the arched entrance, the wrought iron detail above the door are all elements of a typical Cypriot door that can be found all over the town of Nicosia.

Exploring Nicosia is easily accomplished on foot. Take your passport with you and cross the border at the bottom of Ledra Street to reach the Turkish occupied area. It is an opportunity not to be missed, that allows you to step into a different world.
On the north side, and close to the above mentioned Selimiye Mosque (St. Sophia Cathedral), you will find Büyük Han (Great Inn) a caravansarai built by the Ottomans in 1572.

Büyük Han is a huge open court yard serving as an art centre with  some galleries and workshops as well as souvenir stalls and cafes. It is a must visit if you plan to venture across the border. 


 Theo's fourth Nicosia inspired painting The Rehearsal shows the stage of the Strovolos Municipal Theatre.

The Rehearsal an oil painting by Theo from 2011

Romantic Wall Art by Theo Michael, The Rehearsal

Many Film Noir aspects can be found in this painting, such as the strong contrasts of dark and light and the folds of the glove holding the ubiquitous cigarette. The elegance of the femme fatale is beautifully captured and brought to life with the subtle rim lighting on her cheek, neck and arm.

But it is also the incredible detail of each orchestra member that keeps the viewer returning again and again to this canvas, capturing a moment of excitement and anticipation.

Let the show begin.  

Stay tuned for more painting inspirations featuring alternative things to do and see in Cyprus.

Too hot to trail the sites?

Visit our studio instead. You will find all the mentioned sites in one handy place adorning our studio walls. The perfect start to be inspired on your visit to Cyprus. 

posted by Anja Michael 30th  September 2017

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