Tourist Destinations

Visiting Cyprus

The beautiful and enduring island of Cyprus is the third largest island in the Mediterranean. Due to its location and unspoiled scenery it is seen by many as a major holiday destination in the region. Due to a long and arduous history of conquering and war it is famously divided into two sides. One side of the island is Greek and the other side is Turkish. However, the Republic Of Cyprus has sovereignty over the entire island including its territorial waters and economy.

Cyprus door painting by Theo Michael, featuring a village setting with a view towards Stavrovouni

Oil painting Mediterranean Blue Door by Theo Michael

Cypriot Artist

Theo Michael was born on the Greek side of Cyprus and stayed there until the age of 5 until his father immigrated to London with the family in the early 1960’s. When Theo moved back to Cyprus in 2005 it was only fitting that his artistic passion for painting would grow to encompass his native country, its idiosyncrasies, and landmarks.

Places to visit

Over the years since, Theo’s body of work has served as a love letter to his native country, its culture, and its conviviality, as well as its historical monuments. 

Sanctuary of Apollo

The Temple Of Apollo is a sanctuary of Hylates, a Greek god that was worshiped on the island of Cyprus. Located in the Limassol area of the island it was one of the main religious memorials of ancient Cyprus, where Apollo was worshiped as God of the woodlands. The most remarkable characteristic of the temple is its sheer age, with worship of Apollo beginning on the site in the eighth century BC. It continued until the fourth century. Since then the site has experienced many alterations and damage that display its archaicism and illustrious history for all to see. 

Temple Of Apollo

Theo’s painting of the temple is one of his most powerful and dramatic works. He uses perspective to display the grandeur and size of the temple. Its angular facade
contrasts sharply with the cloudy and rich blue sky. As a viewer we sit at the first few steps of the building looking upwards and remarking upon the decaying landmark in all of its splendour.

Temple Of Apollo oil painting by Theo Michael, June 2013

The Church of Saint Lazarus

The Church of Saint Lazarus in Larnaca, Cyprus, is a late 9th century church. It is named for the New Testament figure of Lazarus of Bethany, the subject of a miracle recounted in the Gospel of John where Jesus raises him from the dead. After the death of Christ and due to threats on his life Lazarus was forced to flee Judea and he came to Cyprus.
There he was appointed by Paul and Barnabas as the first Bishop of what is today, Larnaca. He is said to have lived for thirty more years and on his death was buried in Larnaca. The Church of Saint Lazarus was built over the reputed tomb of Lazarus. 

St. Lazarus Church, oil painting by Theo Michael, April 2011

Theo’s painting captures both the grandeur and localized normality of the church. The building is both a dramatic standout piece of architecture and also perfectly cohesive with the environment and the villages that surround it. As one of the grandest churches of Cyprus it stands up as a beautiful and complicated building.
From the outside the true grandeur of the building can’t quite be experienced and that’s why Theo’s painting has an invitational quality, encouraging the viewer to visit and walk inside. 

Kamares Aqueduct in Larnaca

The Kamares Aqueduct is an aqueduct in Larnaca, Cyprus. The building was financed by the Ottoman Governor of Larnaca beginning in 1747 and ending in 1750. The structure was in operation until 1939
and consists of 75 arches. It is a true slice of Cypriot history. It is often counted as one of the most important monuments constructed during the Ottoman period in Cyprus. 

The Shepherd At Kamares In Larnaca, oil painting by Theo Michael, July 2014

oil painting, The Shepherd at Kamares In Larnaca by Theo Michael featuring the aqueduct Kamares in Larnaca Cyprus

Theo’s painting is focused on an old shepherd dressed in traditional garb and his dog, and has a literary quality reminiscent of Hemingway’s The Old Man and The Sea. The elderly man carries a satchel and we can imagine that he is simply going about his day shepherding sheep while devotedly followed by his dog. The aqueduct defines the space in its totality and beautiful yellow flowers create a contrast in the foreground.
In the far distance we can see trees and mist on the horizon speaking to the breadth of the scene that is at play. The little details are effortless and the subject of the painting exudes an abundance of personality carrying his lengthy stick and wearing his heavy boots through the terrain.

Caledonia Waterfall Platres

The Caledonia Waterfalls is the Latin name given to the waterfalls discovered by a Scottish expedition visiting the Platres regions of Cyprus in 1878. They were apparently so shocked by the resemblance of the waterfall to their homeland they subsequently named it Caledonia which is the ancient Latin name of Scotland. According to the season, the surrounding area is covered in a beautiful forest and native wild flowers.
Caledonia Waterfall, oil painting by Theo Michael, September 2021

Theo’s painting celebrates the beauty of the Caledonia Waterfall while incorporating his Art Noir motifs that are often his signature. The painting has a cinematic quality, capturing a moment of joie de vivre, and bringing to mind the famous Trevi fountain scene in Fellini's movie La Dolce Vita.
A young woman, with not a care in the world, wades through the water enjoying the moment.
Her companion, somewhat tipsy perhaps, follows hopelessly trying to keep his cool whilst protecting his lady's red shoes.

Lefkara

Lefkara is a mountainous village in the Larnaca region of Cyprus. It is world renowned for its lace embroidery and filigree silver handicrafts.  Lefkara Lace, also known as Lefkaritika, is the characteristic type of embroidery art in Cyprus. Lefkaritika is the evolution of an older type called Asproploumia, the main stitches of which have survived in the newest type of Lefkaritika.
Lefkaritika soon reached a higher level of quality because of the competition between women. Each girl had to have an extended collection ready for exhibition on her wedding day. Due to this a lot of traditional elements from the designs were passed from mother to daughter.

The Lace Maker, oil painting by Theo Michael, March 2020

Theo captures the atmosphere of Lefkara village in a stunning view up a small roadway winding through the village of Lefkara in Cyprus.
We can wonder about the beautiful woman who is embroidering at a store, with examples of her work hanging delicately outside. Her legs are crossed and she is absorbed in her work. We wonder if she is making something for a wedding or for the tables and hangings of a local family. Theo’s use of perspective shows the depth of the village setting and if we look far enough into the horizon we can see the sunlight casting itself across the pebbles on the road. 

Salt Lake

The Larnaca Salt Lake is a complex network of four salt lakes of different sizes to the west of the city of Larnaca. The largest is lake Aliki, followed by Orphani, Lake Soros, and Lake Spiro. Salt harvested from this lake used to be one of the island’s major exports. With rising labour costs harvesting slowed and stopped altogether in 1986 as the island now imports most of the salt that it uses.

The Salt Lake, oil painting by Theo Michael, February 2011

The Salt Lake painting here is another one incorporating Theo's noir motif’s. A hat and jacket are cast upon a bench which speaks loudly in spite of its quiet emptiness. The reflection of the city is mirrored in the lake speaking to the duality of the city and its mysteries. A beautiful green tree dominates the foreground creating a sense of distance. We wonder where the
owner of the hat and jacket is. Is he merely taking a stroll? Is he drunk and passed out below in the brush? Was this left there on purpose, a careful shedding of skin? It is left to our imagination as viewers to decide. 

Oil paintings

Theo’s artwork, while mostly known for its stylistic noir settings and subjects, has grown to encompass all things Cyprus as his passion for his surroundings and personal history has grown. Never is this more apparent than in these dramatic landmark paintings, where his sense of belonging to the island is on show for everyone to see. 

Travelling to Cyprus

Cyprus is, at its heart, a romantic island, and its people have endured a difficult history of war and economic struggle over many centuries. But, today it is a wonderful place to visit, and its monuments stand up as a delightful way to spend some of your time while there. These are just some of the places to visit if you ever decide to travel to Cyprus.

Author Marc Michael, January 18th 2022