The island of Kefalonia since the archaic period and during all the years of its history until today, managed to push forward great personalities, in many areas of Greek civilization.
In the spiritual cultivation and development of the inhabitants, helped the economic flourishment of the island, in 1850-1950, resulting in the appearance of remarkable achievements in the area of poetry, literature, theatre, music and science.
The socio-economic reclassification, in the end of 19th century, helped to push forward the spiritual figures in the island.
In the area of poetry P. Katsaitis, Andreas Laskaratos, Georgios Molfetas, Bambis Anninos, Mikelis Avlihos and Julios Tipaldos stood out. Of course, there are many others, with similar and important poetic creations, which are unknown to most of us. Remaining in the area of literature, important figures of the historical identity of the island are the scholar Panagiotis Lorenzatos, Gerasimos E. Mavrogiannis, Ioannis K. Loverdos, Hlias, A. Tsitselis and Panagiotis Bergotis.
Besides scolars, many great figures in the area of music and art stood out as well. These ara the composers Nikolaos Tz. Metaxas and Dionisios Lavragas, the violinist Dimitrios Horafas, the pianist Spyros Farandatos, Gerasimos Miliaresis, Georgios Lampiris, Petros Skarlatos and finally the famous composer of symphonic orchestra and concerts Antiohos Evagellatos. A special feature of the island is ‘arieta’, which reminds the Zakynthian ‘arekia’.
It is said that it comes from Genova, Italy and begun from Lixouri. It is a folk-song that is performed according to the musical acoustic of the singers and it is very different from the famous serenade. (kantada)
Traditional dances of the island are, the ‘Kandrilies’ and ‘Lantsieres’. They are European dances that have been assimilated and developed by the people from Kefalonia. In the area of sculpture, a unique figure is Georgios Bonanos, with works of art that made the island of Kefallonia to stand out.
The folklore traditional architecture, influenced by the Byzantine times and the Venetian domination, wells out from the graphic settlements, the narrow alleys, the old villas and the imposing castles.
In the area of painting, Spyros Vikatos (1874-1900) stands out. His works are exhibited in the art galleries of Munich and Venice. There are other artists that stand out in this area such as, the iconographer, cartoonist and great caricaturist Themos Anninos and the painters and hagiographers Herouvim Anninos, Nikolaos Liokis, Georgios Avlihos, Charilaos Loukeris, Efstathios Mavrogiannis and Dimitrios Stellakatos.
Modern painters of the island organize exhibitions in different parts of the island, such as in the “House of the Teacher”, in the spiritual centre of Poros, in Vovikes in the house of the painter Diana Antonakatou, in Rifi in the house of the painter Panagioti Gabrielatou and in art rooms in Argostoli and Fiskardo. Exciting works of art are the icon screens of the churches of Kalligati, Svoronata and Havdata.
In Harokopio School there are impressive representatives of handmade art of the island. Finally, in the area of science, many people stood out in medicine, law and in the writing and editing of scientific books; their names are included in the local historic archive of Kefalonia, in the Korgialenio Library of 53,000 books.
In the same library is the remarkable album “Kefalonia”. A large Museum of the ecclesiastical art of Kranaias is the place where you will have a unique opportunity to enjoy the plastic art of the island, in their grandeur.
Great examples of ancient civilizations that passed from the island are, the walls of ancient Kranis, a unique representative of the art of fortification, the graves of pro-Mycenaean era scattered in the island and other important findings of Mycenaean, post-Mycenaean, Archaic and Hellenistic era in the areas of Krania, Kontogenada and Livatho.
In the archaeological Museum of Argostoli you’ll see unique samples of art of Mycenean era and of the Hellenistic years. Those that stand out are the mosaics from Valtsa, the dedicatory inscription from the sanctuary of Dimitra in Krani and the roman copper head.
Traditional dances of the island
In the museum of Agios Andreas, the visitor has the opportunity to admire the marvelous and unique hagiographies and wall-paintings of the past century. Finally, unique jewel of the city is the collection of Byzantine icons with icons and furniture of 16th-17th century, which is located in the Korgialenio Library.