History painting aimed at memorializing the Greek War of Independence. Its ideal image was required to promote heroism and the supreme sacrifice as a moral model and an incontestable alibi for historical continuity. At the same time, it could be used as a weapon of ideological propaganda.

Theodoros Vryzakis, the son of a victim of the War of Independence, is the first Greek painter who studied in Munich and the main representative of this type of historical painting. The monumental size of these pictures, the ceremonial and theatrical compositions, and the meticulous style of academic idealistic romanticism bear witness to their official ideological role. Alongside the imposing historical compositions, a kind of idyllic romantic genre painting, connected to the War of Independence, also developed, and were once more determined by a philhellenic horizon of expectation.

The exhibition of the paintings is divided in five sections that portray different themes or historical events.

The first section "Scenes from the War of Independence. Battles - Heroes" portrays historical events and figures from the Greek Revolution. With the contribution of Romanticism the narrations of the Memoirs of the fighters, as well as the iconography that related to the movement of Philhellenism constituted the historical memory on which the ideology of the post-revolutionary Greek state was based. The heroic battles and the Greeks's sacrifice were reshaped to art and they survived not only as narrations, but also as historical memory and as cultural continuity since Antiquity.

The theme of "Dying Hero" is referred to the second section. The sacrifice and the death of well-known heroes raised them into symbols of the human fights for faith and freedom. The depiction of the hero who dies for the freedom of his country and for his faith is connected with the figures of Marcos Botsaris, Lambros Tzavellas, Georgios Karaiskakis. "Dying Heroes" are usually depicted in the arms of his fellow fighters, while others mourn desperately his loss in the surroundings. On the strictly typological level the rendition of this scene is based on the long tradition of the cycle of the Passion of Christ, particularly on the Descent from  the Cross and on the Lamentation.

"The Fight at sea", almost victorious, was a decisive factor of the final victory and encouraged the struggling Greeks. The illustration of the naval War was basically created during the last thirty years of the nineteenth century and depicts naval events, such as victorious burnings, naval battles and boycotts, that caused waves of  enthusiasm amon Greeks and philhellenes. The historical event has been overshadowed by genre elements, namely the emphasis on the heroic deed performed by brave men, worthly of imitation. The historical event becomes the pretext for seascape scenes in which the basic goal is the rendition of the sea and of the ship with an emphasis on descriptive detail and on light effects. The emphasis in placed on the depiction of the surroundings, and less on the tension of the struggle, on the tragedy of the naval battle, on the epic character of the historical event.

The fourth section is referred to the harsh consequences of the war, the hardships that the fighters or the civil population faced. Collective national exaltation and majestic dreams are combined with disappointment over the pushing aside and the misery of the warriors, since the newly founded nation cannot even contribute to the basic improvement of their level of life. Images that portray blind or lame men, playing a musical instrument, or images that represent wretched and disappointed families or groups, compelled to become immigrants and refugees, as well as scenes of separation came to light. In Vryzakis's work, the embellishment of the struggle resulted in the rendition of even those scenes which expressed pain and hardships in a romantic, idealized manner. Unlike Vryzakis, Tsokos's works were rendered with a more realistic sensitivity and his painting "denounces" the lack of providence for those fighting for Independence, without certainly breaking away from the principles of his academic training.

The fifth and last section of the exhibition comprises works that express the tendencies that formed the ideology of the Free State. Art influences post-revolutionary society as a formative force and contributes so that it could find a point of reference, and define itself. The quest for a historical past and for national ideology necessitated spiritual uplift and national pride in an era that the greek governments are proved unabled to deal with the internal problems, the conflicts among different groups for political domination, the inability of the economy to improve the standard of living, and the resulted insecurity caused intense frustration. The bringing forth of the Greek world through references to the ancient world, such as by means of monument and temple ruins, as well as the reference to ancestral moral values and principles, served the return to the Greek ideals and at the same time they cultivated the prerequisites for the creation of the Great Idea which would be more clearly formed by the creation of the Great Idea which would be more clearly formed by the future generations. Thus the Greek public responds to works by Greek as well as by foreign artists, in which the relationship between the modern and the ancient Greeks is underlined, the heroic grandeur and the self-sacrifice-virtues that have been rescued throughout time - are brought to light, and the Greek bravery is praised in figures characterized by simplicity and classical beauty. During that time the Greek people feels the need for constant confirmation of cultural continuity and of its national identity. Genre scenes taking place among ancient ruins, portrayals of children dressed in the traditional costume of tsolias, that becomes the national symbol, an attribution of honor and gratitude to those who contributed to freedom, are subjects, which due to their ideological weight, meet the expressive needs of the Greek society.