Nicosia, my hometown, is the capital of Cyprus. It is the only city of the island not enjoying a seaside location. Yet and in spite of, the shocking lack of cultural developments, (even during the golden years!), it possesses a unique charm, distilled by the history and the different cultures that have crossed paths here.
The A. G. Leventis Gallery, a jewel for Nicosia and a shining exception to the rule, opened its doors to the public on the 25th of March, 2014.
I invite you to visit it, whether you are living on the island or just passing through. Definitely worth the short trip from other cities as well!
The A. G. Leventis Gallery represents the fulfillment of a vision. It is the embodiment of Anastasios G. Leventis’ wish to create, in his homeland, a public gallery in which the extensive art collection acquired during his lifetime can be enjoyed by his fellow countrymen, women and children. Conceived in its essence over fifty years ago, this vision is realized today by the A. G. Leventis Foundation which is proud to present, for the first time under one roof, highlights of over 400 years of European art and history: from paintings, watercolours, prints and drawings to objets d’ art and period furniture.
Anastasios Leventis began to collect art in Paris in the 1950s, and his first efforts resulted in his Paris Collection, which was displayed in his residence in the French capital; his appreciation for fine art led him in the 1970s to build up a collection of Greek art. It was much later, after Anastasios’ death, that the Board of Directors of the Foundation began to develop the Cyprus Collection, featuring works of the first generation of Cypriot artists of the 20th century.
The Gallery aims to connect the larger European continent with Cyprus, its farthest outpost in the South-East Mediterranean and wishes to highlight the unique relationship between its paintings and the history of art. At the A. G. Leventis Gallery the grandeur of European art, spanning from the Renaissance until the 20th century, unfolds in a space where the artists, regardless of their origin, contribute to a role in the completion of the history of art. The Leventis Collection demonstrates that the sensitivity to and the understanding of the beautiful, the good and the virtuous, is not divided by countries or periods or even by movements and styles. These are qualities of the inner world, which the artists have succeeded in evoking in order to communicate with the viewer.
The journey into art begins as soon as one enters the space of the Gallery, where innovative technology enhances the visitor’s tour through countries, movements and artistic enquiries. The viewer can either follow the path created by the curators or he/she can tailor a unique route according to his/her interests.
A number of temporary exhibitions, as well as events and educational programs take place throughout the year.