The Municipal Gallery of Athens is housed in a neoclassical building, on Koumoundourou Square, built on the plans of the architect Panagis Kalkos in 1874.
The inauguration of the Gallery took place on the 22nd of September
1982. Before that, the collection had been housed, since 1974, in the Cultural
Centre of the Municipality, on Acadimias Street.
The Municipality of Athens began to put together its artist collection
in 1923. The first work it bought was the sculpture by D. Philippotis, "The Fisherman",
and it is interesting to note that half of the 2,355 works of art which the Gallery
counts among its collection, were acquired during the period 1930-1940.
Almost all the Greek artists, whose creations marked the history of
Greek art and who contributed to its development in the 20th century, are represented
by some of their important works in the collection of the Municipal Gallery. Among
its most interesting features are the collection of engravings, with works by
the great masters of this art and their worthy followers, but also of works by
young engravers; the full representation of the generation of artists of the '30s;
the collection of works by the famous architect, Ziller, which are of artistic
and historical interest, and among which are 56 drawings of the National Theatre,
the Municipal Theatre, as well as of private homes; also the paintings of ruins
by V. Lanza; the portraits of Mayors and Presidents of Municipal Councils painted
by masters of the style (Tsokos, Kalloudis, Iakovides) and a large number of drawings
of the Arts Sanctuary inspired from the Athens of their time.
Some of the most important exhibits of the museum are:
F. Kontoglou, "Laocoon", 1938, oils, 80x100 cm.
G. Velissaridis, "The red caique", oils, 45x50 cm.
A. Giallinas, "The temple of Olympian Zeus with the Acropolis in the background", watercolour.