Born in Grevena in 1940, he studied Modern Greek Literature and Archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki. He continued with studies in Art History at Munich University on a Greek state scholarship. Receiving a grant from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, he stayed on in Germany to study 19th- and 20th-century European and Greek art.
In 1978 he received his PhD from the University of Thessaloniki, and in 1981 he became lecturer at the School of Philosophy of the University of Athens. Since 1987 he is professor of Art History at the University of Thessaloniki, and heads a series of research programmes that have led to several published works by himself and his students. In administrative terms he has served the University of Thessaloniki as director of the Faculty of Archaeology and History of Art, president of the Faculty of Archaeology and History of Art and member of the Senate. He is scientific director of many Greek and international symposia, has given a great number of lectures and systematically contributed to scientific journals. He was a main advocate for the establishment of the State Museum of Contemporary Art (1997), serving as vice-chairman of the Board and its first director from 1999 to 2006, when he resigned; from that position he was instrumental in the acquisition of the Kostakis Collection on behalf of the Museum. In 2014 he was appointed chairman of the Board of the SMCA. A member of the International Association of Art Critics (A.I.C.A.), he has organised numerous exhibitions and written texts for monographs and catalogues.
His books include: Η ελληνική ηθογραφική ζωγραφική του 19ου αιώνα (1978), Γερμανοί ζωγράφοι στην Ελλάδα κατά τον 19ο αιώνα 1826-1843 (1981), Υπαίθρια γλυπτά Θεσσαλονίκης (1985), Η Συλλογή Προσωπογραφιών του Αριστοτελείου Πανεπιστημίου Θεσσαλονίκης (1988), Το Μπλε άλογο, Θέματα ιστορίας και κριτικής της τέχνης (1994), Η εικονογράφηση του Μεγάρου της Βουλής (1998), Ιστορία της Τέχνης στην Ελλάδα (2 vols.) — Vol. Α: Ζωγραφική και γλυπτική του 20ου αιώνα (1999), Vol. Β : Ζωγραφική και γλυπτική του 18ου–19ου αιώνα (2002), Κείμενα Ιστορίας και Κριτικής της Τέχνης (2005).