200 YEARS GREEKS AND INNOVATION
1903

Sophia Laskaridou heads the campaign for the equal treatment of women at the School of Fine Arts

In 1903, a group of female students at the Athens School of Fine Arts, led by Sophia Laskaridou, reached the palace and petitioned to King George I, the implementation of mixed male and female classes at the School and the elimination of private tutoring for women. Their main request was equal treatment and equal rights as students and the participation of women students in the studies of male nude, a subject forbidden to female students at the time. Laskaridou (1882-1965) had concluded her education in the Department for Women (1894-1900) and had done graduate work in Paris, but she returned to the School in 1903 and received her proper degree in 1907. She won a scholarship to continue her studies in Munich and Paris and returned to Athens again in 1915. She is considered one of the most prominent female painters of the early 20th century: she specialized in landscapes, initiated new mediums and techniques, and participated in many exhibitions. She taught painting at the School for Pre-School Teachers in Kallithea, which was established by her mother, renowned educator EkateriniChristomanou.