Darwin doctor Theofilos Rigas captures the heroism of Ancient Greeks on canvas


A love of Greek history and mythology have inspired Darwin doctor Theofilos Rigas to create a series of oil paintings depicting the courage and spirit of Hellenism.

In an interview with The Greek Herald, the 25-year-old shared his passion for creating art based on reading the ancient literary works of Homer and Herodotus. He also shared his hope that his artistic portrayal of Ancient Greek heroes will ensure Greece’s history is not forgotten in a world of fast technology.

What inspires your artistic streak?

My inspiration is drawn from Greek history and myth, particularly ancient history from Achilles to Alexander and to more recent times, the Fall of Constantinople, the romance story of Erotokritos – composed by Vikentios Kornaros in the 17th century – and the Greek Revolution. Our history never ceases to inspire me!

What type of art do you do?

My art might be called imaginative realism, as it depicts subjects from my imagination, whether it be from history, mythology or my own self-invention, but I also do portraits and other subject matters.

Are there any Greek artists who have influenced you?

Inspiration from Greek Mythology.

Phidias, Polykleitos, Lysippus and many of the ancient sculptors have influenced my work. But writers – Homer, Herodotus, Arrian, Apollonius and others – have influenced my understanding of Hellenism and my art.

My greatest influence is Frank Frazetta, but Jeffrey Jones, NC Wyeth, Howard Pyle, James Allen St John and illustrators from the golden age of illustration and comic book illustrators including Bouguereau, Raphael and Caravaggio, have also influenced my work.

Is there a type of Greek art or Greek artist you admire or has influenced you in some way?

The depiction of human figures. I especially love the Classical and Hellenistic styles of sculptures. It’s very evident in my art as the primary subject matter.

Have you visited any art galleries in Greece?

I feel that any museum in Greece, or even any ruin I visit, could be considered an art gallery. I have visited many places in Greece of historic, cultural and artistic significance.

When did you discover your passion for art?

For as long as I can remember I’ve been doing art, I don’t remember a time I didn’t. I was about 15 years old when I started to use oil paints. Prior to that, I’d mostly do graphite drawings as well as 3D animation. Since leaving high school, I have experimented with different mediums and have been more serious about improving my technique.

When did you create your first piece and what was it?

Theo as a youngster with art he created.

My first piece was probably a very long time ago as a child.  My first serious piece and the first official start of the Greek series of oil paintings begins with The Rage of Achilles.

Is it a hobby or is it something more?

Art feels like something more than a hobby to me, it’s a very personal expression. It’s a strong passion of mine, I feel that it’s something that I am compelled to do rather than it being a choice.

What is your favourite medium to create art with?

I work in graphite, charcoal, gouache, ink, water colour and oil paint. Amongst these mediums my favourite must be oil paints. 

Who is artistic in your family?

The artist at work.

Both my parents are artistic and creative in their own ways which are different to mine. They’ve always had an appreciation for art and encouraged me to continue practising art. I am blessed to have them as my parents.

As a busy doctor, how do you find the time to do your art?

I always find time to do my art. Things can get busy and sometimes I can’t do it as often as I might like, but I will always keep it up. Generally, I can paint on days off.

Art is used as therapy in a variety of ways. Would you say it helps you manage the long working hours of an early career doctor?

The latest Mythology themed art paintings.

I suppose I could consider doing art in that way. Whenever I have time to work on a piece or even just do some drawing, it is fulfilling and rewarding. I would say that art is not necessarily relaxing though, particularly if I’m working on a serious piece as it takes a considerable amount of concentration, effort, and motivation to finish a project, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! 

How does art help you?

Art helps me by fulfilling a certain personal creative expression that I have, as well as being able to show my Greek heritage.

You can find examples of Theofilos’ work on Facebook at The Art of Theofilos Rigas.




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

The Larcos family: Navigating generational trauma from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus

The Larcos family could never have anticipated the upheaval that awaited them when they made the decision to relocate from Australia to Cyprus.

A lifetime of diplomacy: A conversation with Prokopis Vanezis

It was an afternoon full of stories—many untold—poetry, dragons, and a single fairy unfolds as the present meets the past to discuss the future.

Cyprus’ cultural heritage is not for sale

For centuries, ancient artefacts, art, and relics have been a topic of ownership, provenance, and morality debates.

Beyond sheftalies: Cypriot Australian youth keep reunification flame burning 50 years on

Young Cypriot Australians, born decades after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, are grappling with the conflict’s enduring legacy.

50 years of occupation: Who remembers Cyprus?

At the Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia, Cyprus stands a red and white sign that reads: ‘TURKISH REPUBLIC OF NORTHERN CYPRUS FOREVER.'

You May Also Like

NSW Government links with multicultural communities to roll out Rapid Antigen Testing

The NSW Government is partnering with multicultural organisations to deliver rapid antigen tests (RAT) to diverse communities across NSW.

Northern NSW residents evacuated as Sydney braces for ‘significant flooding’

Hundreds of stranded residents have been rescued from their homes and cars in NSW, as a “life-threatening” downpour that has triggered record-breaking floods heads to Sydney.

Centre for aquatic animal welfare to open in Crete

The first ever specialised European centre for aquatic animals is expected to open on Greece’s island of Crete.