Famous Artists of Greece: Nikos Nikolaou

About Nikos Nikolaou

Nikolaou was a famous painter, printer, and sculptor who was born on the island of Hydra in 1909. The island was an inspiration for other artists, like Nikos Ghikas, who loved to depict its Neoclassical mansions. Nikolaou is part of the “Thirties Generation” of artists in Greece. He studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts beginning in 1929, where he met longtime friend and artist Yanni Moralis. He started exhibiting his work in 1932 and joined the “Free Artists” group. During his career, he collaborated with the Art Theatre of Karolos Koun to design stage sets and costumes for many productions. 

With Artists Marina Karella and Yannis Moralis in Aegina | © Nikolaou Residence

Nikolaou’s art include drawings of female figures and paintings of scenes in nature. His paintings express art forms from ancient Greek, with simplicity of design and earthy colors. He also created egg tempera murals or frescoes, and later in his career worked with theaters on stage design. Some of his most characteristic works are seen here in pictures of his workshop.

The Aegina Studio | © Nikolaou Residence

Nikolaou’s Career

Finally, Nikolaou decided In 1964 to move to the island of Aegina (not far from Athens) with his wife, Angela Zoumboulaki. There, he became a professor of drawing at the Athens School of Fine Arts where he taught for ten years and served as its director. Nikolaou’s works have been presented in many places worldwide – the Venice Biennale in 1936 and 1964 and at the Biennale of Sao Paulo in 1957. He was also featured at the National Gallery of Greece, the Benaki Museum, and the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in Berlin.

Artists Chrysa Romanos and Yannis Moralis in Nikolaous's Home | © Nikolaou Residence

The Nikolaou Residence

The painter Nikos Nikolaou and his wife Angela came to Aegina in 1964, and this home became a popular spot for art lovers and writers. Renovations began in 2019, when the main house was refurbished and five guesthouses were built. These works were done with the highest respect for the painter and his wife, to keep the warm hospitality they offered to the guests. In the front room, which Nikolaou used as a sitting room, artworks and objects were kept in their original place. 

© Aria Hotels | Photo by Laurent Fabre

Nature at the Nikolaou Residence

Visitors can immediately feel a peace when they walk around the property. Natural elements, like pistachio, fig, and olive trees, dot the landscape. All those who stay in the guesthouse can enjoy the sunset while sitting on the stone benches where Nikolaou, Moralis, Kapralos, Elytis, and other family members and friends of the Nikolaou’s used to sit. The house belongs to the family of Angela Nikolaou, Theodore, Christina, Daphne and Philippos Zoumboulakis.

View From the Nikolaou Residence | © Aria Hotels | Photo by Laurent Fabre

Staying at the Nikolaou Residence

More information on the Nikolaou Residence can be found on the official website. You can also book a stay at one of the five guest houses on the website of Aria Hotels. Each studio boasts stunning views of the surrounding nature and is equipped with all the amenities needed for a comfortable and unforgettable stay. With sleek, contemporary decor and state-of-the-art appliances, these studios offer the perfect blend of style and functionality. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the local area, the complex’s prime location provides easy access to all that the Aegina seaside has to offer.

© Aria Hotels | Photo by Laurent Fabre

Near to the Nikolaou Residence

Not far from the Nikolaou Residence are wonderful beaches and landscapes that are so famous on Aegina, as well as expansive olive groves and historical sites like the Temple of Aphaea. Directly across from the Nikolaou estate is the “Aegina” sculpture by Yannis Moralis, which represents the close relationship between these two men, and also marks a neighborhood with not just one, but many famous artists.

In Aegina with Restagny and Cesar | © Nikolaou Residence

Nikolaou Atelier 

To visit Nikolaou’s Atelier, where he worked on his pieces, you can visit on Wednesdays in the high season and on Saturdays in the afternoon all year round. More details and seasonal hours can be found on the Nikolaou Residence website

The Aegina Studio | © Nikolaou Residence

About Aegina

Aegina is located near to Athens and is known for its picturesque beaches, lovely villages, and delicious local food. It is also easily accessible by boat from Athens. Popular activities on the island include swimming in secluded beaches and enjoying a hot day in the sun. In the evenings, it is popular to have a drink in a lounge cafe-bar under the stars. Some visitors also like to go hiking in Aegina on the footpaths that will take you to tiny chapels and beautiful hilltops with views of the Aegean. 

Top Sights in Aegina

There are several famous sites in Aegina, like the ancient Temple of Athena Aphaia, which is found in the center of the island. Other sites include the Monastery of Saint Nektarios, the ghost town of Paleochora that remains abandoned today, and the Archaeological Museum in Aegina Town. Because the island is fairly small, it is easy to drive around even in one day and discover the main spots, like Aegina Town, Perdika, Vagia, Marathon, and Agia Marina. 


Aegina’s Food

One of the best culinary secrets of the island is the Aegina pistachio, a nut which is grown exclusively on the island. It is a popular snack on Aegina and is used in a variety of recipes, both savory and sweet. It is also possible in Aegina to visit the local nut farms and to see the harvesting process.

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