It is very near the
, at the suburb of Mytilene, Vareia. Stratis Eleftheriadis -Teriade (1897-1983) was born in Mytilene, but while still quite young he left for Paris to study Law. Soon his interest in painting makes him look deeper into art and he becomes an art critic. He works with editors in the publication of art books and magazines. In 1937 he establishes his own publishing house VERVE (inspiration) as well as a magazine by the same name in which many famous writers, painters and poets participate. At the same time, Teriade had the idea to encourage and guide many artists friends of his towards the publication of the "Grand Books". While the issues of VERVE magazine are reproductions of existing pictures, the "Grand Books" are original works of art issued in a limited number of copies (180-250), signed by the artist.
Teriade got the idea of the illustrated book from the medieval manuscripts, an area in which he was an expert. After the Museum of Theophilos he also donated to the Municipality of Mytilene in 1964 this museum, a fine, simple building
also designed by the eminent Lesvian architect G.Gianoulellis.
In the showcases of the museum the visitor can admire the bound volumes of the "Grand Books", while most of their pages hang open on the walls. The pages on the walls are the proofs used before the final printing of each Book. Through these pages that also include poetry, the visitor can watch the creative effort as it unfolds and so take part in the dialogue between painting and poetry. That was the aim of Teriade and from this point of view the Museum itself could be called an Open Book. In the Museum 37 works made by Theophilos (used in the exhibitions Teriade organized for the folk painter), six by Tsarouchis and three by Kaliyannis - both distinguished Greek painters - are also exhibited.
Source of the text: Prefecture of Lesvos URL (2003)