‘Chora’ – Nicosia, through the eyes and the inimitable palette of Ioannis Kissonerghis

Focussing on yet another facet of the DNA of the capital, the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia is presenting the exhibition Chora ─ Ioannis Kissonerghis, which will be open from 17 May 2022 until 30 October 2022.

‘Chora’ – Nicosia as it was over 100 years ago – is revealed to the public through the eyes and the inimitable palette of Ioannis Kissonerghis, characterised by many as the father of Cypriot landscape painting. The exhibition is a tribute to the Nicosian Kissonerghis, a man who left his indelible mark on the city with his personal manner.

Ioannis Kissonerghis (1889-1963) was born, grew up, taught and worked in ‘Chora’, his home city of Nicosia. It is no surprise then that the painter created a large number of works that are related to and depict his city and the spaces where he spent a significant amount of time; subject matter that corresponds with his familiar and beloved places, both for himself and his audience – the people of the local community, the residents of Nicosia. At the same time, his landscape paintings were also admired by foreign visitors to Cyprus who wanted to acquire characteristic reminders and images from their visit to the island.

Areas, streets, monuments and spaces shown in Kissonerghis’s works are matched with items from the postcard collection and the rich material of the Photographic Archive of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, as well as with works of modern photographers, inviting viewers on an imaginary journey into Nicosia’s past and present.

For research purposes, the curators consulted old maps of the city, as well as other, mainly early 20th-century maps from the Cyprus Department of Lands and Surveys and publications of the period. The research was complemented by a detailed photographic recording of today’s Nicosia, including the occupied areas, with the result that the spots that the artist chose to represent have been almost completely identified. The views of Nicosia are divided into three main sections: general views, streets and monuments of the city.

In this exceptional exhibition, ‘Chora’, the old Nicosia of Kissonerghis, comes to life through reminiscences and nostalgia for its former romantic image. The artist’s works are transformed into memories and unfold the history of our city, taking us on an exciting exploration through space and time.

The exhibition was curated by the Director of the A. G. Leventis Gallery, Loukia Loizou Hadjigavriel, and the Curator of the Museum, Maria Patsalosavvi, while the general coordination was organised by the Director of the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, Demetra Theodotou Anagnostopoulou.

The exhibition could not have been realised without the kind contribution of the organisations and the private collectors who loaned artworks by Ioannis Kissonerghis from their collections for the purposes of the exhibition. It is accompanied by a richly illustrated publication with essays by the exhibition curators.

For the duration of the Chora – Ioannis Kissonerghis exhibition, the Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia will be organising guided tours and creative workshops for adults and children, as well as many other related events. The public can find further information about the full programme on the Museum’s website and on its social media platforms.


Duration: 17 May 2022 – 30 October 2022

Location: The Leventis Municipal Museum of Nicosia, Temporary Exhibition Hall,

15-17 Ippokratous St, Laiki Geitonia, 1011 Nicosia

Visiting hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10.00-16.30


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