Royal Academy of munich

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After the end of the Greek Independence war in 1830 and the creation of the new state there was a need for the education of young painters. Of course there was no such school of Art in the new born country, and the new young king Otto of Bavaria encouraged several young talented men to study art in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. In addition, after centuries of Ottoman rule, few opportunities existed for young artist in Greece itself, immediately after independence, so studying abroad was imperative for them. Munich, was an important international center for the arts and is the place where the majority of the Greek artists of 19th century would chose to study and a minority would go to Paris. Both academic and personal bonds developed between early Greek painters and Munich artistry giving birth to the Greek "Munich School" of painting. Many of these young artists later have returned to Greece to teach to the Polytechnic School and later Athens School of Fine Arts, where they would transmit their artistic experiences. However some of them like Nikolaus Gyzis chose to remain in Munich.
Artistic styles
The works of the Munich school painters are characterized by an expert use of colours that would overshadow the figures’ expressions. Scenes were depicted in a pompous and theatrical way, although not lacking emotional tension. In academic realism the imperative is the ethography, the representation of urban and/or rural life with a special attention in the depiction of architectural elements, the traditional clothes and the various objects. Munich School painters were specialized on portraiture, landscape painting and still life.
Representative artists
Artists that belong to the School of Munich include the first painters of free Greece such as Theodoros Vryzakis (1814–1878) and Dionysios Tsokos (1820–1862) (According to other art critics he belongs more to the Heptanes School. Both of them draw their subjects from the Greek War of Independence in 1821, focusing on idealized ideas on the Greek Revolution and not giving much attention to the violent and tragic aspects of a war. Even more dramatic in their depictions were the later Konstantinos Volanakis (1837–1907) and Ioannis Altamouras (1852–1878), that were focused more on the naval battles of the revolution
Main representatives of the artistic movement were apart from Volanakis the painters that worked mainly during the second half of the 19th century like Nikiphoros Lytras (1832–1904), Nikolaos Gyzis (1842–1901) and Georgios Iacovidis. (1853–1907). Gysis stayed at the Academy in Germany while the others have returned to teach at the Athens School of Fine Arts. Their teaching and artistry have marked the 19th century artistic era in Greece.
Nikiphoros Lytras is considered the pope of Greek painting and the major iconographer of Greek life during the 19th century. Paintings such as the sinking of the Turkish flag ship by Kanaris was a reference point in Greek art. Gyzis worked mainly on ethography while at the maturity of his career he shifted towards the of visions, allegories and symbolisms. Iacovidis paintings were mainly portraiture and depiction of children scenes. The latter was the founder and first curator of the National Gallery of Greece in Athens. Other painters include Epameinondas Thomopoulos, Nikolaos Vokos, and Polychronis Lembesis. Influences of academic realism can also be seen in the work of many Greek artists such as Spyros Vikatos (1878–1960). The end of the movement started when some Greek painters after the mid-19th century such as Periclis Pantazis (1849–1884) departed from academic realism towards impressionism and the final end occurred when expressionist Nikolaos Lytras (1883–1927) and Konstantinos Parthenis (1878–1967) started to teach at the Athens School of Fine Arts.