"Great Talent and Great Suffering"
Artist Fotis Kontoglou tragic financial hardships and family struggle.
In 1940 Kontoglou finished the frescoes of the City Hall of Athens. He is not paid for a two-year job and is in financial despair, with a sick wife and a small child. He writes from Nea Erithraia to his friend Kostis Bastias asking him to find him a job…
"... Maria was so seriously ill that I thought if anything happens I should leave Despoula my daughter to my sister and go to Mount Athos. Within two years I painted over 500 figures. My eyes are tired. I do not have a job. I have been unemployed since I finished City Hall murals. And if I get a job, there are no colors, no oil, nothing. How do I work? I am very tired. "
In the end, Kontoglou notes: "No answer".
In 1943 he got a job. To make the portrait of Anastasia Albanopoulou, from a photo of her, for the family grave in the First Cemetery. But money for canvas "is not found". So he cuts the upper left quadrant of his work "Sinis the Pityokamptis" and on the other side he paints the portrait.