National Gallery of Art (Athens)

National Gallery of Art Athens



Location: Vasileos Konstantinou 50, Illsia, Athens
Tel. 210 723 5937
Subway: Evangelismos
Tram train: 3, 13
Open: 9am- 3pm and 6- 9pm Mon and Wed
9am- 3pm Thu- Sat, 10am- 2pm Sun
Closed: public holidays
Official Site


Description of National Gallery of Athens

National Gallery of Art National Gallery of Art

The National Art Gallery, or the National Pinakothek (Greek: Εθνική Πινακοθήκη) is an art museum in Athens, founded in 1900 and dedicated to Greek and European art from the 14th century to the present. Also known as the Alexandros Soutsos Museum (Greek: Μουσείο Αλεξάνδρου Σούτζου), National Gallery of Greece. The sculptural collection in the post-war period was separated into a separate satellite museum - the National Glyptothek.



The idea of ​​founding the museum arose in 1878, when the University of Athens donated part of its collection to the museum. In 1896, a lawyer by profession and an admirer of the arts, Alexandros Sutsos transferred his private collection to the ownership of the Greek state. At the time of its opening in 1900, the museum's collection consisted of only 258 works from the collections of the University of Athens, the Athens Polytechnic University and Alexandros Soutsos. The first curator of the museum was the Greek artist Georgios Iakovidis. In subsequent years, the collection of the gallery was replenished thanks to other gifts, collections bequeathed by Greek artists and ordinary citizens. One of the most significant was the gift of Euripidis Koutlidis, which allowed the museum to fully present Greek painting of the 19th and 20th centuries.

In 1964, construction began on a new building for the museum along King Constantine Avenue under the leadership of a group of architects: Faturis, Mylonas and Moutsopoulos. This is a low building that has two wings. The museum moved to it in 1976, at that time its collection already included over 9.5 thousand exhibits.



The permanent exhibition of the museum occupies the first and second floors and is represented by artworks of the 19th and 20th centuries. All paintings are presented in chronological order and grouped thematically. However, the main hall is dedicated to post-Byzantine painting by representatives of the so-called Cretan school. In particular, the works of Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known by his adopted Spanish name - El Greco, are exhibited here. Other Renaissance artists include Jacob Jordaens, Luca Giordano, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Jan Brueghel the Younger, Jan Brueghel the Elder, Lorenzo Veneziano, Jacopo del Sellaio, and Albrecht Dürer.

Acquaintance with modern Greek painting begins with the works of artists of the Ionian Islands. Made with photographic precision, the paintings tell about the first years of the history of independent Greece. The most significant artists of this period are Theodoros Vryzakis and Nikolaos Kounelakis. A separate thematic group is devoted to modern Greek painters who received their academic art education in Munich; they form the so-called Munich School of Greek Painting. Among them are Yakovidis, Georgios, Nikiforos Litras, Konstantinos Volanakis and Nikolaos Gizis. The “Children's Concert” (Greek Παιδική Συναυλία) by Georgios Yakovidis and “The Betrothal” (Greek Τα αρραβωνιάσματα) by Nikolaos Gyzis stand out especially with their characteristic accuracy and completeness of the plot.

The art of the interwar period is represented by the works of artists of the so-called generation of the 1930s (see Regime 4 August). Its most prominent representatives are Papaloukas, Spyros, Tsarouchis, Giannis, Diamantis Diamantopoulos, Moralis, Giannis and Nikos Hatzikyriakos-Gikas. The second floor is devoted exclusively to the work of contemporary Greek artists. It is distinguished by experimentalism, innovative technology and originality of the plot, among which Greek national features are not lost at the same time. Of particular interest are the works of Konstantinos Parthenis and Konstantinos Maleas, who are considered the founders of Greek Art Nouveau.