The former Royal Palace in central Sofia is now part of Bulgaria's National Gallery of Art and is used as a venue for temporary exhibitions (The National Ethnographic Museum is also located here). The Palace currently hosts three exhibitions:
Nadar's Famous Portraits (21/06 – 26/08/2018) shows beautiful, sensitive photographic portraits of public figures from the mid-1800s taken by French caricaturist, writer and photography pioneer Gaspard-Félix Tournachon, known as Nadar (1820-1910). Nadar's subjects included top artists and intellectuals of the time such as Gustave Courbet, Eugène Delacroix, Émile Zola, Jules Verne, Ivan Turguenev and Victor Hugo, among many others. Very enjoyable.
Mario Zhekov (1898 – 1955) (27/07 – 16/09/2018) presents paintings by this well-known Bulgarian painter, mainly landscapes, cityscapes and urban scenes painted in Bulgaria, Istanbul, Paris and the Adriatic coast. On the traditional side, to me the most enjoyable paintings were those in which the use of paint was boldest, with thick impasto and strong colour contrasts. Also very nice drawings and watercolours which I generally enjoyed more than the paintings.
Portraits by Zlatyu Boyadzhiev (19/05 – 31/12/2018) is a one-room display of portraits by Boyadzhiev (1903-1976), a figurative painter well known in Bulgaria and influenced by Renaissance art who suffered a devastating brain stroke in 1951. Unable to use his right hand, he learnt to paint from scratch with his left. The Zlatyu Boyadhiev Gallery, devoted to the work of the painter, has been open to the public since 1984 in the town of Plovdiv. The intense paintings in this display span the artist's career.