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Greek gallery loans art treasures to Lausanne

Detail from the Concert of the Angels by El Greco. National Gallery Athens

A Lausanne museum is currently exhibiting a dazzling array of artworks from the 14th to the 19th centuries on loan from the National Gallery in Athens.

This content was published on February 3, 2004 - 15:28

Entitled “From El Greco to Delacroix”, the exhibition at the Hermitage Foundation marks a major coup for the Swiss museum.

Not only were many of the works especially restored for the exhibition, others have never before been seen by the public.

The selection includes a significant ensemble of Greek paintings, as well as post-Byzantine icons and paintings from after 1830 - the year of Greek independence.

Works by such national artists as Francesco Pige, Nikolaos Gysis and Georgios Avlichos reflect the artistic tendencies of this period at the watershed between tradition and modernity.

Over 40 other European paintings from the 14th to 19th centuries accompany this corpus of Greek art, and one of the many highlights is El Greco's last work, the early 17th century Concert of the Angels, hanging among major works by Cecco del Caravaggio, Jordaens, Tiepolo, Delacroix and Fantin-Latour.

The exhibition is completed by a selection of high-quality old drawings on public view for the first time.

Fantastic opportunity

Hermitage director Juliane Cosandier told swissinfo: “It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to have on loan works from the 14th century without glass panels… completely exceptional.

“What’s more, many of the works have rarely been seen in public and had been kept in storage rooms.”

Cosandier added that since its foundation in 1900, the National Gallery of Athens had shown remarkable vitality and energy. Recognized as one of the main centres of the arts in Athens it has a wealth of over 10,000 works today thanks to its dynamic acquisitions policy and numerous donations.

She said that the Hermitage was particularly happy to welcome the collection to Lausanne, home of the International Olympic Committee, in the same year the Games are returning to Athens.

The exhibition at the Hermitage ends on May 31.

swissinfo, Richard Dawson in Lausanne

Key facts

The Hermitage exhibition includes an ensemble of Greek paintings, as well as post-Byzantine icons and paintings from after 1830 - the year of Greek independence.
One of the highlights is El Greco's last work, the early 17th century Concert of the Angels.
The exhibition includes works by by Cecco del Caravaggio, Jordaens, Tiepolo, Delacroix and Fantin-Latour.
Many of the works were especially restored for the exhibition, while others have never before been seen by the public.

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