National Gallery Alexandros Soutsos Museum

National Gallery Alexandros Soutsos Museum

National Gallery Alexandros Soutsos Museum: A Journey Through Greek Art

The best way to immerse yourself in Greek art, tracing its evolution from post-Byzantine times to the present day, is to visit the National Gallery Alexandros Soutsos Museum in downtown Athens. This modern art museum, recently refurbished, showcases works by both Greek and international artists, highlighting numerous aspects of Greek art and culture. It is designed to attract both locals and visitors from around the globe.

A Brief History

The National Gallery, founded in 1900, stands as a beacon of Greek cultural heritage. It was significantly expanded and modernized in recent years to offer a state-of-the-art experience to art enthusiasts. The museum is named after Alexandros Soutsos, a prominent Greek poet, and has grown to become one of the most important art institutions in Greece.

Permanent Collections

Spanning an area of 20,760 square meters, the National Gallery features spacious halls with glass-fronted exterior walls, large rooms for temporary exhibitions, and a digital information desk in the lobby. The gallery houses over 1,000 works of art on permanent display, selected from its extensive collection of 20,000 pieces.

Upon entering, visitors are greeted by “Street Market” (1979–1982) by Panayiotis Tetsis. This vibrant painting, full of life and color, spans over 15 meters and sets a welcoming tone, reminiscent of the openness of a bustling street market.

Exploring the Floors

First Floor: 19th Century Greek Paintings

The first floor is dedicated to 19th-century Greek paintings, showcasing mature bourgeois portraiture that developed after the dethronement of King Otto in 1862. Notable works include the “Portrait of Mrs. Serpieri,” “Athenian Evening,” and “On the Terrace” by Iakovos Rizos. Visitors will also encounter pieces by N. Lytras, G. Iakovidis, N. Gyzis, and P. Pantazis, along with other members of the School of Munich. The collection also features landscape and genre paintings, orientalist art, still life, early impressionism, symbolism, and art nouveau.

Second Floor: 20th Century Modern Greek Art

The second floor ushers visitors into the world of 20th-century modern Greek art. Highlights include “Love Scene” (1982) by Yannis Moralis, works by Parthenis, and other representative artists of the ’30s. The floor also displays paintings and engravings by D. Galanis, expressionist art, abstract art, and pieces from the group “Art” (1917–1919), which contributed to early Greek modernism. A special room is dedicated to the cubist works of Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika.

Third Floor: Contemporary Greek Art

The journey through modern Greek art culminates on the third floor, where visitors can explore contemporary styles and forms. This includes the relationship between art and technology, figurative art, pop art, and the interplay between reality and transcendence.

Conservation and Facilities

The museum is equipped with state-of-the-art conservation studios for preserving paintings on canvas and wooden panels, as well as paper conservation. These studios employ the latest technology and tools to ensure the longevity of the artwork.

Cafés and Panoramic Views

Although currently under refurbishment, the museum features two café-restaurants. One is located on the top floor, offering panoramic views of the Acropolis, Lycabettus Hill, and the Saronic Gulf, providing a serene spot for visitors to relax and reflect on the art they have experienced.

Outdoor Spaces

The exterior spaces of the museum are adorned with impressive sculptures, such as Auguste Rodin’s “Walking Man on Column” and modern works by artists like Takis and G. Nikolaidis. A water canal symbolizing the Ilissos River bed, once flowing through the area, enhances the landscape, accompanied by a sculpture by Kostas Varotsos and the iconic “Umbrellas” by G. Zongolopoulos.

Visiting Information

Located at 50 Vasileos Konstantinou Street, Athens, the National Gallery is easily accessible and offers a profound cultural experience. For more information and to plan your visit, check the official website.


The National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum is more than just a repository of art; it is a vibrant cultural hub that chronicles the rich tapestry of Greek artistic evolution. Whether you are a local or a visitor, this museum promises a captivating journey through the world of Greek art, offering insights into the country’s artistic heritage and contemporary creativity.

Share with your friends​

National Gallery Alexandros Soutsos Museum

Follow Us

Scroll to Top

Luggage Sizes