06 November, 2015

The Greek House: the story of a painter's love affair with the island of Sifnos by Christian Brechneff with Tim Lovejoy

In 1972 when he was 21 the painter Christian Brechneff fell in love with a Greek island in the Aegean Sea.

Back then Sifnos was still unspoiled by tourism. There were no roads, only one telephone and everyone knew everyone else. Wanting to get away to find a quiet place to paint and draw and loving the joyous atmosphere, the Greek light and ‘the Sun with a capital S’, he fell under its spell from the very first moment.

Borrowing some money from his father, he buys a small whitewashed dwelling in a hilltop village and has a studio addition built. Over thirty – odd years he develops an international career but eventually the modern world catches up with the island. Tourists arrive, yachts fill the harbour and tavernas multiply. The old way of life disappears with the coming of the euro –‘ prices go through the roof.’

Co-written with his lifelong partner Tim Lovejoy, it’s a candid portrait of a personal journey of self- discovery and the transition from naïve youth to mature adult. He paints a captivating portrait of the island with beautifully descriptive images of lovers, visitors, villagers and landscapes.

An enchanting, sensuous read.

Title: The Greek House: the story of a painter's love affair with the island of Sifnos
Author: Christian Brechneff with Tim Lovejoy

Recommended by Claire S, Central Library

Claire S works in the Information Services/Arts Team and loves reading biographies, contemporary fiction and non-fiction (art and anything related to New Zealand). 

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