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National Gallery for Foreign Art

Sofia, Sofia region

The gallery

The National Gallery for Foreign Art opened doors on 5 November 1985 as an art gallery of the present St. St. Cyril and Methodius International Foundation. It came into life after a decade of collecting and organizational activities. To the works that would comprise the Main body of the future gallery there was also added the foreign art collection of National Art Gallery, based on the purchased works for the Painting Section of the National Archaeological Museum. So the results of nearly ninety years of tracking and purchasing, primarily casual but later on purposefully directed, were stocked into a single place. Rare finds were complemented by generous donations, especially those on the occasion of the 1,300 anniversary of the foundation of the Bulgarian State.
Situated on three levels, the nineteen exhibition halls covering a total area of 4,000 sq.m. disclose the most valuable treasures of the Gallery. As if engrossed in a fairy-tale, the spectator is absorbed by the atmosphere and glamour of different countries and epochs: starting from the Greek time (4 - 3 century B.C.) and reaching as far as the modernistic quest around the world.

Expositions

The French art of painting, graphics and sculpture from the end of the 19 th and the beginning of the 20 th century is widely and richly presented. The Asian art is presented by the rich collection of Indian sculptures and miniatures from the earliest samples till the 19 th century. Another collection donated to the Gallery is characteristic of the South - eastern Asia. Its works date back to the 18 th and 19 th centuries.
One of the focal points of the Gallery’s exposition is the collection of African sculptures and masks. Ritual statues, cult masks, figures of ancestors made by the tribes of Senufo, Bambara, Dogon, Baule, åtc. reveal the diversity of this formative art.
A considerable part of the collection is comprised of masks - an element of the costumes for ritual dances and an inseparable part of the action of the main performer. Naturally, African art is not related solely to religious and mystic concepts.
By Decree of the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria since the 11th of July 1994 the Gallery has been listed as a Cultural Institution of National Significance.

Opening Hours:
• 11:00 - 18:00
Closed on Tuesday


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