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Athanasio Celia

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Athanasio Celia (also Athanasios, or Athanassios Celia) is a painter, art expert and author. He is considered the founder of the "Verticality, Vertcalismus, or Verticalism" [1][2][3][4][5][6][7] as a form of artistic expression which the dominance of vertical lines emphasizes in artistic works. These works are also known as “safe art”, because of their elaboration with fire, that makes them immune to forgery. [8][9] Parallel to his “Verticalism” creations Celia devoted himself to portraiture. [10] As a "Greek artist and art expert" (Reuters, ref. 57), or "Paris-based painter and art historian" (The Guardian, ref. 60), he became known worldwide for his activities in the period 1992 - 2008 and was interviewed by international audio-visual media such as BBC, Reuters and others.[11][12][13]


Athanasio Celia was born in Germany. [14] Celia’s art exhibitions began in the mid-eighties and he became a “Paris-based painter” in the nineties.[15][16][17][18][19][20] In 1991 his gallery in Paris introduced him as the “youngest established artist in Paris”.[citation needed] And later in the same year followed his exhibition in the “Haus der Kunst” (the Art Museum) in Munich. An all-day auction was dedicated to Celia’s art in Germany in 1995.[21] When he settled for the first time in Greece in 1998, the Greek press welcomed him as founder of the “Verticalism – Safe Art” and as the most expensive Greek artist.[22][23][24][25][26][27][28] Athanasio Celia was during his entire career also known for his philanthropic efforts.[15][14][29]

Art Expertise[edit]

Apart from his academic education as art historian, Celia earned recognition as art expert in part because of his ownership of an archive of unique manuscripts.[citation needed]

In 1992, during an opening of his paintings in a gallery in Munich, he examined one particular artifact of great value - a golden Greek wreath (400 BC).[citation needed] After the examination of the object, he gave to the persons who brought him the ancient treasure information of possible interested buyers. Soon the object was sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum" in Malibu, California.[30] When Athanasio Celia later found out that the wreath had been illegally excavated, he informed the German authorities, and, years later, he handed over to the Greek state the photos hehad obtained from the smugglers, in order to enable the return of the object to Greece in 2007. An award-winning documentary about the subject was broadcast in 2011 in several countries.[citation needed]

In a further case, in 2007, Athanasio Celia examined a notebook with sketches which had been looted by the Nazis. In his report he attributed the notebook to the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh.[31][32] His study on the notebook was published in a chapter of the book “The Notebook of Vincent”, for which Athanasio Celia also wrote the preface.[33]

One year later, in 2008, he examined again an artefact which had been looted by the Nazis. This time it was an oil painting, which he also attributed to Vincent van Gogh and according to his report “it was the last painting of Vincent van Gogh”.[34][35]


  • "Ω - ο Λόγος", published by EPOS 2006, Greek, ISBN 9789609225304 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • "Der Logos - Der Gottes Beweis", published by Traugott Bautz Verlag 2015, German, ISBN 978-3-88309-968-2 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • Preface for Diodora Doreta Peppa:"The Notebook of Vincent", Concept Maniax Publications / Epos Editions 2008, ISBN 978-9609806121 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  • "God's letters", published by Athanasios Seliachas 2018, English, ISBN 978-9609225311 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.


  1. Greek Newspaper Vradyni | https://archive.org/details/VradyniTheEveningsDaily/page/n3
  2. https://books.google.com/books?id==g5ZHAQAAIAAJ&q==athanasio+celia&dq==athanasio+celia&hl==en&sa==X&ved==0ahUKEwiAg
  3. https://www.zougla.gr/politismos/article/tio-ilar-3-mia-ek8esi-gia-filan8ropiko-skopo
  4. "Σύγχρονες εικαστικές δημιουργίες στη Μύκονο - naftemporiki.gr". www.naftemporiki.gr. 27 August 2010.
  5. Tio Ilar, International Art Exhibition | http://www.tioilar.eu/index.php/artist-cvs/2012-01-31-09-45-45/athanasio-celia
  6. Tio Ilar, International Art Exhibition | http://www.tioilar.eu/index.php/tio-ilar-3/the-artists/2012-02-06-09-08-20/celia-athanasio
  7. ArtSland | https://www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/221518-athanasio-celia
  8. Greek Newspaper Vradyni | https://archive.org/details/VradyniTheEveningsDaily/page/n3
  9. Greek Newspaper Eleftheros Typos | https://archive.org/details/EleftherosTyposFreePress/page/n1
  10. Portrait of Pierre Soulages by Athanasio Celia | https://www.autographes-des-siecles.com/produit/pierre-soulages-athanasio-celia-dessin-original/
  11. BBC interview of Athanasio Celia – PM | Van Gogh in Athens - A lost painting by Van Gogh surfaces in Athens (Channel | Radio 4) – sequences 02’.29’’ - 02’.49’’ & 03’.24’’ - 03’.54’’ | www.bbc.co.uk/archive/van_gogh/10927.shtml
  12. BBC interview of Athanasio Celia | BBC News - Van Gogh art in 'Greek vault' – sequences 00’.34’’ - 00’.58’’ | news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7357057.stm
  13. Reuters interview of Athanasio Celia - GREECE: Sketchbook of Van Gogh believed to have been found in Greece – sequences 01’.50’’- 01’.58’’ & 02’.07’’ - 02’.48’’ | https://reuters.screenocean.com/record/712312
  14. 14.0 14.1 Greek Newspaper Eleftherotypia | https://archive.org/details/EleftherotypiaFreedomOfThePress
  15. 15.0 15.1 Greek Newspaper Kyrix | https://archive.org/details/KyrixHerald
  16. Greek Newspaper Eleftherotypia | https://archive.org/details/EleftherotypiaFreedomOfThePress
  17. L’ Officiel des Galeries, Paris 1991 | https://archive.org/details/AthanasioCeliaInTheLOfficielDesGaleriesParis1991
  18. The Rive Droite Programme des Galeries, Paris 1990 | https://archive.org/details/AthanasioCeliaInTheRiveDroiteProgrammeDesGaleriesParis1990
  19. Paris Rive Gauche 1990 | https://archive.org/details/ParisRiveGauche15May15July
  20. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. Title of the article: "Highlights" | https://archive.org/details/Espresso_201901
  21. Weltkunst, Volume 65, 1995 | page 1080 | https://books.google.com/books?id==g5ZHAQAAIAAJ&q==athanasio+celia&dq==athanasio+celia&hl==en&sa==X&ved==0ahUKEwiAg
  22. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. Newspaper Ta Nea. Title of the article: Art by appointment | https://archive.org/details/TaNeaTheNews
  23. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. Title of the article: Athanasio Celia in Athens | https://archive.org/details/ToOnomaTheName
  24. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. Title of the article: The uniqueness of the first line | https://archive.org/details/AthinaikiAthenianPress
  25. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. Title of the article: Celia in Nea Smyrni | https://archive.org/details/TopikiNeaSmirnilocalNewsOfNeaSmyrni
  26. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. Title of the article: SAFE ART / Pioneering artworks Celia permanently in Athens | https://archive.org/details/AdesmeftosTyposUnboundPress
  27. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. For the first time in Greece... | https://archive.org/details/ApogevmatiniafternoonNews
  28. Greek press about Athanasio Celia. Title of the article: Celia in Greece | https://archive.org/details/KalimeraGoodMorning
  29. https://www.zougla.gr/politismos/article/tio-ilar-3-mia-ek8esi-gia-filan8ropiko-skopo
  30. The Medici Conspiracy, Index Athanassios Celia, Chapter 21, Pages 310-312, 321 | https://books.google.com/books?id==pZ44DgAAQBAJ&pg==PT419&lpg==PT419&dq==athanassios+celia&source==bl&ots==5J0_T1jEbd&sig==IW4WrBA3zLvFyI4mqfSjAlfyiDk&hl==el&sa==X&ved==0ahUKEwiL69mZ_eLTAhUGAcAKHZzEDBEQ6AEILjAB#v==onepage&q==athanassios%20celia&f==false
  31. Karolos Grohmann | Reuters | https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-vangogh-idUSL1616838020080116 | titel: Experts examine "Van Gogh" sketchbook in Greece | date 2008-01-16
  32. ABC News Australia | http://www.abc.net.au/news/2008-01-17/experts-examine-van-gogh-sketchbook/1015196 | titel: Experts examine 'van Gogh'sketchbook | date 2008-01-17
  33. ΤΟ ΣΗΜΕΙΩΜΑΤΑΡΙΟ ΤΟΥ VINCENT / The Notebook of Vincent (author : ΝΤΟΡΕΤΑ-ΔΙΟΔΩΡΑ ΠΕΠΠΑ / Diodora Doreta Peppa) | Look at: a) Περιεχόμενα / Contents (5. ΤΙ ΕΦΕΡΕ ΣΤΟ ΦΩΣ Η ΜΕΛΕΤΗ ΤΟΥ ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΥ ΣΕΛΙΑ / 5. What the study of Athanasio Celia revealed), b) Λεπτομέρειες / Details (Πρόλογος ΣΕΛΙΑΣ ΑΘΑΝΑΣΙΟΣ / Preface Athanasio Celia) | https://www.politeianet.gr/books/9789609806114-gogh-vincent-van-epos-to-simeiomatario-tou-vincent-protos-tomos-110467 | Greek ISBN 9789609806114 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png. / English ISBN 978-9609806121 Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png.
  34. The Guardian | https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2008/may/19/art.news | titel: Experts fall out over Van Gogh's 'last painting' | date 2008-05-19
  35. Helena Smith | The Hindu | http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/Was-it-Van-Goghrsquos-last-work/article15225589.ece | titel: Was it Van Gogh’s last work? | date: MAY 20, 2008

External links[edit]

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