The "Art Group," especially during its early period (1917-1919), was an exciting assortment representing the Greek version of modernism in art. The first exhibition of the "Group" opened on Christmas day in 1917, and the artists who exhibited were painters PeriklisVyzantios, Stavros Kantzikis, LykourgosKogevinas, Nikos Lytras, Konstantinos Maleas, Nikolaos Othonaios, Konstantinos Parthenis, OthonPervolarakis, DimitriosStefanopoulos, TheofrastosTriantafyllidis, OdysseasFokas, and sculptors GrigoriosZevgolis and Michalis Tombros.
Among the participants, Lytras, Othonaios, Kantzikis and Triantafyllidis had studied in Munich, and the rest of them in France where they had assimilated impressionism and post-impressionism with an emphasis on symbolism (Parthenis,) fauvism and Japanism (Maleas,) Art Nouveau (Pervolarakis.)
The unequivocal leader of the "Art Group" was Nikolaos Lytras (1883-1927,) who had studied in Munich, and until the establishment of Maleas and Parthenis, he was considered the most innovative artist of his generation. His painting style inclined toward German impressionism with the addition of some expressionistic qualities. In 1923, Lytras was appointed professor at the School of Fine Arts, a position he maintained until his death, influencing younger well-known artists (Asteriadis, Vassiliou, etc.)