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National Gallery

At the National Gallery we "meet" artists such as El Greco, Picasso, Jordaens, Tiepolo, Goya, Rembrandt, Delacroix.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1834 The first collections of painting and engraving of the University of Athens and the Polytechnic were donated to the Museum of Paintings and Engravings.

    1954 Unification of the National Gallery and the Museum of Alexandros Soutzos.

    1957 An architectural competition was announced, and the winners were Nikos Moutsopoulos, Pavlos Mylonas, and Dimitris Fatouros.

    1964 The groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was attended by Georgios Papandreou.

    1975 Completed. Inaugurated a year later.

    2021 On March 25, a day celebrating the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the Greek Revolution, the expansion and renovation was inaugurated in the presence of international personalities.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The two main building volumes of the gallery are a low two-storey wing and an elongated multi-storey building which are connected by a bridge. In the past, the facades were made of exposed concrete and the surfaces had marble cladding. Today, only the low volume (periodical exhibition space – Soutzos Museum) has visible concrete, while the rest of the building is primarily covered with glass. In addition to the exhibition spaces, there are maintenance workshops, a library, an amphitheatre (350 seats), a restaurant-cafe, a shop, offices, warehouses, and a digital information lounge. The collection offers a very interesting panorama of the evolution of Greek art from the post-Byzantine era (mainly Ionian and Cretan art) to the present day. The main feature of the artists is their emphatic Greekness, which kept them partially away from the international artistic trends, which they rejected in favour of developing a typically Greek cultural heritage. Among the 20,000 works of painting, engraving, sculpture, drawing and construction we meet artists such as El Greco, Picasso, Jacob Jordaens, Giambattista Tiepolo, Francisco Goya, Rembrandt, Eugene Delacroix, Georgios Iakovidis, Nikiforos Lytras, Nikolaos Gyzis, Giannis Tsarouhis, Christos Kapralos, Giannis Moralis, Theofilos, George Zongolopoulos and many more.

What I can't see

The goals of the gallery are the promotion, enrichment, maintenance, storage, and study of the works, along with the artistic cultivation of the public and the creation of new stimuli. For this reason, it has branches in other cities in Greece. The gallery collections were initially created by collectors’ donations, by works offered by the artists themselves and, later, by important purchases. By the beginning of the 20th century, a strong wave of enthusiasm for art appreciation had engulfed Greece. During World War II, the museum’s artistic treasures were hidden in the basement of the National Archaeological Museum. After the war, they were transferred to the nearby Casa D’Italia, and then to an artillery barracks until the building was completed in 1976. During this time, periodic exhibitions were held at the Zappeion. Initially, the building was supposed to be built on another site and with a different design. When the site moved to the current location, the design was adjusted accordingly. The junta’s culture minister called it “horribly modern” and wanted to add two Ionian columns and a frieze. Upon completion of the project, the gallery had an area of ​​9,720 sq.m. and with the latest expansion, it grew to 20,760 sq.m in size.



Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore

Doumanis O.V., (1998), Εθνική Πινακοθήκη και Μουσείο Α. Σούτζου, Αθήνα 1958-72, [National Gallery and A. Soutzos Museum, Athens 1958-72] in Architecture in Greece, v.32, p.p. 68-69, NTUA

Official website of National Gallery, (2021)

Last visit 30/3/2021

Zivas D.A.., (2012), Αρχιτεκτονικός Οδηγός Αθηνών, [Architectural Guide of Athens], Cultural Foundation of Pireos Group

Cade D., (2013), Αθήνα, η αλήθεια, αναζητώντας το Μάνο Χατζιδάκι λίγο πριν «σκάσει η φούσκα», [Athens, the truth, searching for Manos just before the “bubble burst”], Savvalas

Makrogianni M., (1996), Ματιές στην Αθήνα που έφυγε, [Glances at Athens that is gone] v.2, Filippoti

Technical Chamber of Greece, (2000), Athens, London, Paris, TCG,

Last visit 30/3/2021

Unsigned, (2014), Navigating the routes of Art and Culture, Part 1, Athens, Ministry of Culture and Sports