Born in Athens in 1879, he began to publish caricatures in newspapers and magazines from a young age. He studied at the School of Civil Engineering of the Technical University of Athens (1897-1899), where his drawing teacher was Nikiphoros Lytras. In 1900 he went to Paris, where he spent most of his life, and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1900-1902) under Fernand Cormon.
Over the years he contributed caricatures and sketches to humour magazines (L'Assiette au Beurre, Frou-Frou, Gil Blas, Le Rire, Le Canard Sauvage, etc.). He travelled to Germany (1907-1909) where he collaborated with magazines and studied printmaking. In 1909 he settled in Montmartre, befriended avant-garde artists (Matisse, Maillol, Derain, and others) and was influenced by the Fauve and cubism. In 1914 he joined the Foreign Legion and obtained French citizenship. After the end of the war (1918) he abandoned caricature in favour of book illustrating, working on over one hundred books and albums. His first solo exhibition was at “La Licorne” gallery of Paris in 1922, with an introduction by André Malraux.
In his painting and printmaking he established a personal style which, while aware of the new trends, adhered to the refinement of classicism. His subjects comprise landscapes, mythological and idyllic scenes, nudes and still lifes. After 1930 he stopped painting to focus on printmaking, studying the methods of lithography and etching and proposing new techniques. As one of the major European printmakers of the first half of the twentieth century, he influenced many of his fellow practitioners with his teaching and his work.
Initially he taught at the Andre Lhote Academy (1925-1928), and after 1930 he opened his own studio to young students. Many Greek artists who studied in Paris, such as P. Rengos, N. Hatzikyriakos-Ghika, K. Iliadis and K. Vyzantios, were taught printmaking in his studio. In 1945 he was elected professor at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and was received in the French Academie des Beaux Arts. In 1950 he became a corresponding member of the Academy of Athens.
He presented his work in many solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Works of his can be found in the National Gallery, the Averoff Gallery, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the municipal galleries of Athens and Rhodes, the Telloglion Foundation, etc.