Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika was born in Athens on 26 February 1906. From early youth he showed a serious inclination towards drawing and, while still at school, he took painting lessons from Constantinos Parthenis.
In 1922 he went to Paris, taking lessons in painting and drawing from R. Bissière and D. Galanis at the Académie Ranson, while studying French literature and Aesthetics at the Sorbonne.
He first exhibited his work in Paris in 1923, at the Salon des Tuileries and the Salon des Surindépendants, and afterwards contributed to many group exhibitions.
His first one-man exhibition took place at the Galerie Percier in Paris in 1927. His first exhibition in Athens, held at the Strategopoulos Gallery in 1928, was shared with sculptor Michael Tombros.
In 1934, already a respected artist, he decided to leave Paris in order to settle in Athens. Between 1935 and 1937 he edited the periodical "To Trito Mati" ("The Third Eye") together with architect Pikionis, the poet Papatzonis and the director Karantinos.
In 1937 he restored the ancestral home of the Ghikas family in Hydra, where he painted the first works in which he expressed his artistic style decisively, combining the elements of Cubism with the nature, light and architecture of Greece.
He was appointed Professor of Drawing at the National Technical University of Athens School of Architecture in 1941, and continued to teach there until 1958.
In 1972 he was elected a regular member of the Academy of Athens and in 1986 an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. He was also granted honorary doctorates by the School of Architecture at the University of Thessaloniki in 1982 and by the University of Athens School of Philosophy in 1991.
More than fifty exhibitions of Hadjikyriakos-Ghika’s works were held over the years in Athens, Paris, London, Geneva, Berlin and New York.
Examples of his work are to be found in many private collections in Greece, Western Europe and the USA, as well as in the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Gallery in Athens, and many other museums.
Apart from painting, drawing and sculpture, Hadjikyriakos-Ghika was also involved in designing stage sets and costumes for theatrical works such as Aristophanes’ "Clouds" (National Theatre of Greece, 1951; Comédie Française, 1952) and Gide’s ballet "Persephone", with music by Stravinsky (Covent Garden, 1961). He also illustrated a number of books, including N. Kazantzakis’ "Odyssey", Longos’ "Daphne and Chloe" and C.P. Cavafy’s "Poems". His writings include several books, studies and articles on architecture and aesthetics, as well as treatises on Greek art.
Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas died on 3 September 1994.