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News | Published: Fri 31 Jan 2014

ImageValentines day late opening

On Friday 14 February the exhibition will be open to view until 20.00 and the film, starting at 18.00, will be introduced by its co-creator and narrator, Tim Salmon.

Dhiava: The Autumn Journey is a short film documenting pastoral life in the mountains of Northern Greece. Far from the tourist haunts and beaches, Vlach shepherds bring their flocks home for the winter, walking across mountains, through forests and camping out at night under the stars.

Tim Salmon knew John Craxton and commented: "I first met John in 1963, in Chania, where I had just got my first teaching job after coming down from Oxford, from where during every Long Vacation, I had hitchhiked down to Greece for the summer. John was one of the very few foreigners I have ever met in Greece who had taken the trouble to become, as far as it is possible, an insider. His Greek was far from perfect, but it was the Greek of the "piatsa". It was he who first sent me off into the White Mountains to meet shepherd friends of his. No doubt I would have discovered the peasant/working class side of Greek life for myself, but John certainly inspired me to begin that journey. Dhiava: The Autumn Journey is certainly about a kind of Greekness that he was interested in."

The next late night opening of the exhibition will be on 14 March, and on 11 April the Museum will be holding an evening opening and Greek food event, celebrating the Greek love of food from the ancient past to present day, with special talks and activities and music in its own Greek courtyard.

A World of Private Mystery explores the work of John Craxton - from his beginnings as a young hope British art, creating dark, meditative images of the natural world in the gloom of post-war Britain, to works of incredible vibrancy, colour and joy from his later life when he had settled in Crete.

John Craxton is appreciated by connoisseurs as one of the great British artists of the 20th century; however, his work is not widely known to the public. His artwork celebrated the colour and warmth of the Mediterranean, ranging from luminous landscapes to portraits illustrating the Greek lifestyle, often including food, goats and cats.

The exhibition also includes a film by David Attenborough exploring Craxton’s life and work.

Dhiava: The Autumn Journey is 50 minutes long. Admission for the film is by token, 1 per person, available at the Courtyard Entrance desk 30 minutes prior to start. Induction loop available. Admission is free.

A world of private mystery: John Craxton, RA (1922-2009) is open to Monday 21 April at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Admission is free.

**** "This small show does full justice to the inimitable work of John Craxton" - The Telegraph

Image credit: Portrait of Sonia, 1948-57, image copyright the Estate of John Craxton.