John Craxton ‘s “A Restless Soul” Is the Must-See Exhibition at Chania

AGreek Culture’s enthusiast and an art’s lover, John Craxton has described in his own way the timeless miracle of bliss through personal expression.

A travel through drawings, paintings and the routes that led him to Arcadia, Crete. This uplifting personal saga, reflected in brilliant pictures, charts a voyage from darkness into light. It is titled “A Greek Soul” and commenced in the Benaki Museum in Athens. In October, it will be transferred to the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania (October 2022 until January 2023) and later it will be presented to London.


John Craxton captured Greece, and mostly his beloved Crete, finding the Greek soul in almost everything. His protagonists range from mischievous cats, frolicking goats, napping friends dazed by the summer heat, to sailors nibbling on fries and Greek salad at the taverna.


With much of his work never previously exhibited, he can only now be recognised as an unrivalled portraitist of Greek faces and places from the middle of the 20th century. Featuring many unknown works from the Craxton Estate, the revelatory Benaki Museum survey will comprise 90 artworks covering every period of the artist’s career. The display ranges from prints and drawings to paintings and a vast tribute tapestry, plus photos and personal effects.


Craxton’s art style combines opposition, bohemian lifestyle and the nomadic perception of a witness who experienced the dark times of WWII, but also absorbed some of the joy he preserved in his canvases. Take some time to examine the huge Landscape with the Elements tapestry Craxton designed and oversaw in Edinburgh while exiled under the Colonels. Inspired by traditional Cretan weaving, it sums up his love of the Greek world.