The National Gallery is one of the most important museums of Greece. National Gallery collections comprise more than 20,000 works of painting, sculpture, engraving and other forms of art; this is the treasury of Modern Greek art, encompassing the period from the post-Byzantine times until today. Moreover, the National Gallery owns a remarkable collection of Western European paintings.
The Gallery was founded on April 10, 1900 by a law in which provision was also made for the assignment of a chief curator of the Foundation. The acclaimed painter Georgios Iakovidis was appointed in this position. The National Gallery’s operation regulation was legislated on June 28,1900. Its early collections came from the National Technical University and the University of Athens. Substantial donations came to be added to these. In 1954, the National Gallery merged with the Alexandros Soutzos Estate, hence its double name.
The institutional role of the National Gallery is to collect, safekeep, preserve, study and exhibit works of art towards the aesthetic training of the public, the on-going education through art and the recreation that it is able to provide, as well as the self-awareness of the Greek people through the history of art, which expresses the national history on a symbolic level.