The masterpieces of Albanian art are as enveloped in beauty as they are heavy in historical and cultural context. Excavated from the ruins of ancient cities and carefully preserved throughout the centuries, these treasured objects, sculptures, and paintings are scattered throughout the country’s countless museums and galleries.
Albanian art shows a historical, deeply-rooted fascination and celebration of female beauty and strength as ancient busts, such as the Dea of Butrint and the Beauty of Durrës, and the iconic painting Motra Tone, Albania’s own Mona Lisa, reveal.
As the country passed through Christianity to Islam to a fifty-year-long ban on religion during the Communist era, the unusual fate of religious art in Albania is worth witnessing. Sculptures from antiquity celebrate the Greek and Roman mythological gods, the figure of the Christ is found in several mosaics, embroidered works, and exceptionally beautiful iconographic paintings while the paintings from the Socialist Realism celebrate heroes of war while glorifying the rulers of the time.