The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in April 1896, and Greece issued a series of twelve stamps to mark the occasion. The designs, by Professor Gillieron, were based on ancient Greek art and architecture connected with the games.
Two small designs featuring nude boxers and Myron’s famous statue of the discus-thrower were used for the 1, 2, 5 and 10 lepta values.
Two double-sized designs were used for the 20, 25, 40 and 60 lepta denominations, which showed an Attic amphora (wine-jar) and the goddess of Victory in a four-horse chariot.
The 1 and 10 drachmae stamps featured Athenian landmarks showing the Acropolis, Parthenon and Olympic stadium. The 2 and 5 drachmae values, which were in vertical format, reproduced famous statues; the Hermes of Praxiteles and the Nike (goddess of Victory) by Paeonius, both of which had recently been excavated at Olympia.
Five denominations of this series were re-issued between 1900 and 1901, surcharged with new values.