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The Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens


Museum of Cycladic Art
The Nicholoas P. Goulandris Foundation


The Museum of Cycladic Art is one of the most modern and important museums of Prehistoric and Ancient Greek art. It was founded in 1986 to host the collection of Cycladic and Ancient Greek art belonging to Nikolaos and Dolly Goulandri. The permanent collection is exhibited in the modern building, designed by the architect Iaonnis Vikelas, on Neofitou Douka Street. In 1991 the museum acquired a new extension, the neoclassical Stathatos Mansion at the junction of Vasilissis Sofias Avenue and Irodotou Street.

The Stathatos Mansion is one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in Athens. The home of the Stathatos family was designed by Ernst Ziller and was built in 1895. It has been restored to its original state and offers visitors a representative picture of a 19th century bourgeois house. As an annex to the museum, it has its own magnificent entrance. It is internally connected to the new building through a specially designed corridor.

The new wing has high quality temporary exhibitions. The ancient Greek art collection of the Academy of Athens is displayed on the ground floor. In the main building the collections are displayed over four floors. The ground floor is occupied by the museum shop and the atrium. The cup-bearer, seated figurine in once marble piece (2.800-2.300 BC) – Museum of Cycladic Art

On the first floor the Cycladic collection, one of the most impressive and complete in the whole world, can be seen. It consists of about 350 items, displayed in a modern fashion, and it offers visitors a full picture of the civilization that flourished on the Cycladic Islands in the 3rd century BC. Prominent among the works of art are marble figurines, some very rare, marble vessels and pan-shaped utensils.

On the second floor there is a display of Ancient Greek art with representative pieces dating from the Bronze Age (2nd century BC) to the late Roman period (4th century AD). The third floor is dedicated to the collection of Cypriot antiquities formed by Thanos Z. Zindilis

The collection of Ancient Greek art formed by Karlos Politis is displayed on the fourth floor. It was donated to the Goulandris Foundation in 1989. There also is a small collection dedicated to educational programs containing the “Treasure of Keros”, a hoard of broken figurines found on the island of Keros.

Cycladic figurines

The marble figurines of the early Cycladic period (3200-2000 BC) represent the main objects of artistic expression of Cycladic civilization. They reflect the anthropocentric character of this early form of art as well as the simplicity and freedom of the islander’s lifestyle. They express both a sense of moderation and the aspiration towards monumentality.Female figure of the folded-arms type, white marble, almost 27cm high, 2800-2300 BC - Museum of Cycladic Art Athens

The height of the figurines varies from a few centimeters to 1,5m. It is from these figurines that the genre of ‘great sculpture’ first emerges in the area bordering the Aegean Sea. They were made of marble with painted details.

The figurines are divided in two groups. The violin-shaped group, stylized and abstract in shape and the naturalistic group in which the human form is more accurately traced. Some figurines reflect Cycladic society, representing pregnant women, men playing musical instruments, warrior or hunters, seated female figures as well as groups of people in family life or game scenes.

Other figurines represent animals, particularly birds. A unique exhibit is the seated man with a drinking-cup (the ‘toaster’) and the large, almost life-size, male statuette. The impressive feature of these figurines, however, is their plastic form and the abstract tendency of the artists, who, like modern sculptors, seem to have aimed to express the essence and inner peace of the human form.

Opening hours Opening hours and admission
Locaton map Permanent collection: Neofitou Douka Street
Locaton map Extension: Vasilissis Sofias Avenue and Irodotou Street
Nearest metro station
Syntagma - Evangelismos
For typical words, please consult our Greek Glossary Top



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