Nikolaos Gyzis (1842-1901) was the most well-known Greek painter of the 19th century, a painter who passionately supported the Greek and European romantic desire for the “artistic rejuvenation” of ancient Greece. When he died, in 1901, sculptor LazarosSochos compared him to the classical Greek artists Parrasios, Zeuxis and Apellis and, also, to DomenicosTheotocopoulos (El Greco.) Gyzis was a stellar example of what a young student who arrives from Athens to Munich can accomplish. His appointment as head of the department of painting of the Academy of Munich further established him as a beacon for young artists.
From the beginning of his career, Gyzis tried to balance between two thematic options: idealistic representation and ethography. However, in 1890, he decided to endorse idealistic imagery, a medium that established him as one of the most influential representatives of Jugendstil, the German School of Art Nouveau.