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Panayiotis Tetsis was born in 1925, in Hydra. He settled with his family in Piraeus in 1937, returning to Hydra every summer, where he began to paint. There, he met Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas and Pikionis, whom he considers his indirect teachers. In 1940, Klaus Frieslander gives him his first painting lessons and then continues his studies at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1943-1949). A year before graduating, he presents his first solo exhibition, (Romvos gallery, 1948). In 1951 he begins to teach as assistant at the Freehand Drawing School of the National Technical University Athens, with N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas as head professor. He was elected professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1976), where he taught until 1991 (chancellor since 1989). In 1993 he became a member of the Academy of Athens and in 1999 and was awarded the title of Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix.
He has held more than 90 solo exhibitions and has numerous participations in group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. He participated in the Sao Paulo Biennale (1957) and the Alexandria Biennale (1959). His retrospective exhibition, 35 years of painting (Pieridis Art Gallery, 1992), was also presented at the Municipal Galleries of Mytilene, Patras, Kalamata, Chania and Rhodes. More retrospective exhibitions took place in the Athens National Art Gallery (1999), Florence, Cyprus and elsewhere. Four books with his writings and several of his articles have been published. He died in 2016.