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Manos Rovithis
Magnotta's First Wine Label in 1990
Manos was a dear friend and Gabe and I spent many Sunday afternoons at his home in London, Ontario enjoying great food and wine. He was very traditional and always talked about winemaking in the old country. Our roots were similar so choosing this piece for our very first wine label was very fitting. - RM
In 1990, Magnotta's very first wine label was designed with this painting by artist Manos Rovithis. Born in Athens, Greece in 1927, Rovithis became known widely for his beautiful paintings depicting scenes from his childhood homes including the Greek Islands and the streets of Paris. In his youth, he would serve as an altar boy at the famous Notre Dame Cathedral. While in Paris, he attended the Grande Chaumiere Art School. It was there that Rovithis learned the techniques of the Masters. His work was often said to carry the influence of Alfred Dufatrel, an impressionist painter and family friend. The spontaneity and sensuality of his paintings was reminiscent of the work of Van Gogh and Cezanne. During the 1950s and 1960s, he exhibited in France, Germany and Greece. Rovithis was recognized throughout Europe but in 1963 he made the decision to move his young family to Canada. It was here that he chose to change his painting technique altogether. Manos put aside his brushes and began working exclusively with palette knives. It was a move that earned him instant acclaim. In 1987, then Prime Minister of Canada, Brian Mulroney, commissioned Manos to paint his portrait. Other collectors of his work have included Archbishop Lakovos, leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in North and South America, Andreas Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece and Emmanuel Megalokonomou, Ambassador of Greece in China. Manos lived in London, Ontario until his death in 1998.