Sofia City Art Gallery


Words, Images, Places

140th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Sofia as Capital

13 September 2019 – 16 February 2020


Serdika, Sredets, Sofia… during the course of its existence, the city went through various stages of development, and several name changes. In the span of 140 years, since its proclamation as capital, Sofia was transformed from a small settlement with streets ‘knee-deep in mud’ into a significant dynamic city with a personality, spirit, and culture of its own.

The exhibition follows the capital city’s life and development through the works of generations of Bulgarian artists. This unique tour of Sofia landmarks and milestone events is ‘guided’ by the canvases of Anton Mitov, Nikola Petrov, Ivan Getsov, Tsanko Lavrenov, Nikola Tanev, Zlatyu Boyadzhiev, Dechko Uzunov, Tekla Alexieva, Ivan Kirkov, Lachezar Boyadzhiev, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Cyril Prashkov, Samuil Stoyanov, etc.

Through the images of landmark buildings and sites on paintings and picture postcards, through the impressions and reflections of travelers and intellectuals, we relate stories. The bygone era of post-Liberation excitement, the cultural boom between the two world wars, historic events associated with the landmark year of 1944, the controversial socialist past, and the sources of excitement for contemporary artists are but a few of the themes the exhibition touches upon.

Works featured in the exhibition belong to the permanent collections of the Museum of Regional History, Sofia, the National Gallery of Art, the art galleries of the cities of Kazanlak, Pazardzhik, Pleven, Shumen, Sliven.

The exhibition was designed so as to include contributions from the Hristo Alexiev Collection, the Lost Bulgaria website, and BulFoto.

In the exhibition there were prepared ten 3D paintings for people with visual impairment. In partnership with Sofia Municipality and the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the following paintings were prepared:

Petar Valchev “Alexander I Square”, Rumen Gesharov “Rush Hour”, Ivan Kirkov “The City”, Marina Marinova “Blue Evening in Sofia”, Ivan Getsov “St. Nedelya Church”, Nikola Tuzsuzov “National Bank – Sofia”, Vera Nedkova “Boyana”, Nadezhda Kuteva “Summer”, Anton Mitov “Marketplace in Sofia”.

The exhibition was brought to life in partnership with the Ministry of Culture, the Capital City Administration, Aurubis AG, UNIQUA Group, the Bulgarian News Agency, the Bulgarian National Television, and the Bulgarian National Radio.



Location: Sofia City Art Gallery - 1, General Gurko Street, Sofia