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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Betty Ryan: An American Painter at Patouria on Andros; Άνδρος - Το Χρώμα της Σιωπής

View some of Betty Ryan's paintings here

"Ryan, who spent the last twenty five years of her life in Andros, humbly came to identify herself with the island".

"It was a matter of time to find a place that suits my idea of where I should live. And I found it. Andros for me was love at first sight. And this love was growing during those twenty five years that I had been married to this house up on a high hill in Andros... Those last years were the best",

The first page of Henry Miller's "The Colossus of Maroussi"

"I would never have gone to Greece had it not been for a girl named Betty Ryan who lived in the same house with me in Paris".

From Henry Miller, "First Impressions of Greece", Village Press, London, 1973:

Some screen-shots (from a Powerpoint presentation) of her early circle of friends and acquaintances in Paris, from the talk by Demosthenis Konaris at the Andros Summer University:

 Henry Miller

Anaïs Nin

Lawrence Durrell

Betty Ryan (poor focus)

According to Ian MacNiven, "Lawrence Durrell, A Biography", London 1998, in his chapter on Henry Miller and the Villa Seurat (p. 174), "Betty was very much a member of Henry's circle...It would have surprised Nancy (Durrell) to know that Betty and Henry were talking of getting married - after Anaïs was no longer on the scene....(Betty) had a regular allowance from her father, enough to sustain her at the Villa Seurat and to pay the salary of a maid, and she gave small, elegant dinner parties for the hungry gang that pounded up the stairs to Henry's studio". MacNiven has more about Betty Ryan, Chaim Soutine, Alfred Perlès, Hans Reichel and Anaïs Nin - and their complicated relationships. Fred Perlès said that Betty Ryan had 'the face and bearing of a Madonna'.

See also Bertrand Mathieu, "Betty Ryan, la dame d'Andros: La personne, l'oeuvre, le silence", 1983.

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