Actualités de Mario Prassinos

Go back

Biography of Mario Prassinos  (French)

donation Mario Prassinos :
a short account of the activities of Catherine Prassinos and Thierry Rye for the Donation Mario Prassinos in Saint-Remy-de-Provence, 1986-1995 (in French).

"Prétextat" tapestry
woven by Pierre Daquin upon a painting by Prassinos, "Prétextat" 1970.
Donated by Angers Musées Vivants to the Musée Jean Lurçat et de la tapisserie contemporaine (in French).
exhibition at the Palais des Papes
in Avignon 2006:
exhibition of costumes made from drawings by "the painters of Jean Vilar " for stagings at the TNP from 1947 to 1963.
a short history of the artist's engraving works (in French) with an interactive gallery.
contact the expert
catalogue raisonné
owners of works by Mario Prassinos are requested to get in touch with the expert to have them reproduced in the Catalogue Raisonné in progress.
the archives:
ask for information



















Born July 30th in Constantinople of Greek-Italian descent.
1922 The Prassinos family flees from Turkey to settle in France, in Nanterre near Paris. Lycée, Faculté de Lettres, École des Langues Orientales. In between the age of 18 and 23, Prassinos is involved in the surrealist experience together with his sister Gisèle Prassinos.
Death of his mother, Victorine Prassinos.
Death of his father, Lysandre Prassinos, who until 1922 was a French teacher and the publisher of the magazine Logos in Constantinople. The family moves to Paris.
Death of his grand-father, Prétextat Leconte, later to become the subject of a series of paintings LES PRÉTEXTATS. First solo exhibition at the galerie Billiet-Vorms in Paris with a foreword by René Char. Portraits of cats, warriors and women.
1939 Mario Prassinos volunteers for the war against the Nazis..
1942 to1950 Meets Raymond Queneau, Albert Camus. Joins the Éditions Gallimard, does etchings to illustrate texts by Queneau, Sartre, Apollinaire, Rimbaud, Poe…
1947 First scenography for stage director Jean Vilar at the T.N.P. National People's Theatre and at the Festival d'Avignon.
1948 First exhibition at the Galerie Billiet-Caputo, later to become the Galerie de France.
1949 Series of paintings TROUPEAUX (Herds). Acquires French nationality.
1951 Purchase of a house in Eygalières (Provence). Beginning of the ALPILLES series.
1951-1975 Production of more than 150 tapestry cartoons woven at Aubusson, les Gobelins and Beauvais Manufactures and exhibited at the Galerie La Demeure in Paris from 1956 to 1974.
1953 Wood engravings and copper etchings for The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe.
1953 to 1976 Frequent exhibitions at the Galerie de France in Paris.
1957 to 1960 BOUQUETS and LES CYPRÈS (the Cypresses) series (oil on canvas).
1958 Extended stay in Greece in the island of Spetses. Indian ink and oil painting on paper: les CYPRÈS DE SPETSAI.
1959 The ARBRES (the Trees) series, among which Meltem. PAYSAGES (Landscapes) series.
1960 Set and costumes for Strindberg's Erik XIV, then, in 1963 for Verdi's Macbetto staged at the Scala de Milano.
1962 à 1975 Portrait work:
1962 to 1964, portraits of BESSIE SMITH
1963 to 1970, portraits of his grand-father PRÉTEXTAT
1969 to 1975, portraits of his father: PÈRETEXTAT
1974 to 1975, les SUAIRES (the Shrouds).
1969 Scenography for the ballet Eonta with music by Iannis Xenakis.
1970 to 1980 Work on the PAYSAGES TURCS (Turkish Landscapes) series.
1973 Publication of his first book Les Prétextats, published by Gallimard, Paris.
1976 Extended stay at Mycenae in Greece where he starts writing his second book La Colline Tatouée (The Tattooed Hill). The book is published by Grasset in Paris in 1983.
1977 Set and costumes for Cripure by Louis Guilloux, staged by Marcel Maréchal in Marseille and Paris.
1979 Important exhibition at the French Institute in Athens.
1980 Exhibition of the series PAYSAGES TURCS at the Grand Palais in Paris.
1980 to1984 Several hundred oil paintings on paper developing the theme of the tree (LES ARBRES).
1981 Set and costumes for Verdi's Otello staged at the opera houses of Marseille and Avignon.
1983 Retrospective exhibition in Aix en Provence.
1984 Exhibition at the French Institute in Athens, in Rhodes and Thessalonica (Greece).
1985 Mario Prassinos paints the PEINTURES DU SUPPLICE (paintings of the suffering) for the walls of a roman chapel in Saint Rémy de Provence.

Mario Prassinos donates a comprehensive selection of his work to the French State: more than a hundred paintings, drawings, engravings, tapestries and prints. This collection, which is a property of the French National Contemporary Art Fund, is exhibited in the Notre Dame de Pitié chapel in Saint Rémy de Provence.

Mario Prassinos dies on October 23, 1985.


Previous Page






all documents ©Centre d'Archives Mario Prassinos-ADAGP Paris 2021