The G.I. Katsigras Collection was created in the period 1950-1965 by Larissa-born surgeon Georgios Katsigras (1914-1998) and includes 780 works (paintings, engravings and drawings) from the 19th to the middle of the 20th century.
The collector decided to donate his collection to the Municipality of Larissa in 1981 on the sole condition of the construction of a special building for its housing.
In 1983, the Municipal Art Gallery of Larissa – G.I. Katsigras Museum was founded, and the new building opened its doors in November 2003.
The redesigned exhibition of the collection-following to the curatorial concept elaborated by the art historian Syrago Tsiara- proposes a new narrative starring the place and the people in the historical evolution of the relations between them.
Works of art are treated not only as carriers of aesthetic value, but also as a valuable source of information for the structuring of social relations, as well as for the interaction of people with their natural and structured environment.
“Genius Loci”, “Ideal Creatures”, “Intimacy” and “Fighting” are the key concepts on which the exhibition is built, in order to activate the experiential approach on part of the visitors.
Agricultural work, livestock production, mountainous and lowland landscape dominate in this first section, including also views of the urban landscape. People’s relations with the place evolve historically as the form of society changes. However, the structures of the traditional agricultural economy remain strong in the Thessalian land and largely determine the artistic perception of the local spirit (genius loci).
Idealized female figures, in work or rest scenes, urban ladies resting or daydreaming, rural women in daily activities, orientalists, saints and mothers – all of them keeping the aura of spotless femininity intact. In the same section, we find portraits of children mainly of urban origin, but also children of the countryside, whose traditions are pictured according to the aesthetic and ideological standards of their time.
This section includes paintings and engravings distinguished for the mood of exploring the familiar space, the commemoration of the simple, but also so important moments of everyday life and the artistic expression of emotions. Interior spaces of houses and courtyards, vases with flowers, family scenes, friendly gatherings, moments of relaxation and play dominate. A special section of paintings and engravings is dedicated to the depiction of the naked body.
This last section includes paintings and engravings depicting the struggle of people for survival in adverse conditions, the labor of field workers and factory workers, the spirit of resistance and fighting during the occupation, protest movements, but also people’s efforts to address difficulties in the city and the countryside.