ICONS FROM THE ORTHODOX WORLD
Front Cover Illustration: Detail, Nativity No. 10
ICONS FROM THE ORTHODOX WORLD (A PRIVATE COLLECTION)
4- CRETO-VENETIAN & GREEK ICONS
5- MEDIEVAL AND LATER
FORW A RD The icons and artifacts compiled in this catalogue are part of my personal collection. fifty years were spent with great endeavour and passion, seeking, discovering, studying, restoring and researching this wonderful art that was canonised with faith, belief and love of those who produced it. I have handled hundreds of icons, but kept few, most of the important art acquired by me along the span of time, are now in museums and private collections, few are illustrated on the first pages of this catalogue. My gratitude goes to those who appreciate the unique and sacred iconography of the eastern orthodox world, for those who held and guarded their treasures to future generations, also for the academics and restorers that made it possible to appreciate more its history and beauty.
A n icon (from Greek eikwn-image) is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches. More broadly the term is used in a wide number of contexts for an image, picture, or representation; it is a sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing it either concretely or by analogy, as in semiotics; by extension, icon is also used, particularly in modern culture, in the general sense of symbol - i.e. a name, face, picture, edifice or even a person readily recognized as having some well-known significance or embodying certain qualities: one thing, an image or depiction, that represents something else of greater significance through literal or figurative meaning, usually associated with religious, cultural, political, or economic standing. Throughout history, various religious cultures have been inspired or supplemented by concrete images, whether in two dimensions or three. The degree to which images are used or permitted, and their functions - whether they are for instruction or inspiration, treated as sacred objects of veneration or worship, or simply applied as ornament - depend upon the tenets of a given religion in a given place and time. In Eastern Christianity and other icon-painting Christian traditions, the icon is generally a flat panel painting depicting a holy being or object such as Jesus, Mary, saints, angels, or the cross. Icons may also be cast in metal, carved in stone, embroidered on cloth, painted on wood, done in mosaic or fresco work, printed on paper or metal, etc. Creating free-standing, three-dimensional sculptures of holy figures was resisted by Christians for many centuries, out of the belief that daimones inhabited pagan sculptures, and also to make a clear distinction between Christian and pagan art. To this day, in obedience to the commandment not to make - graven imagesâ€?, Orthodox icons may never be more than three-quarter bas relief. Comparable images from W estern Christianity are generally not described as - iconsâ€?, although - iconicâ€? may be used to describe a static style of devotional image.
A lthough there are earlier records of their use, no panel icons earlier than the few from the 6th century preserved at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Catherine at Sinai survive. The surviving evidence for the earliest depictions of Christ, Mary and saints therefore comes from wall-paintings, mosaics and some carvings. They are realistic in appearance, in contrast to the later stylization. They are broadly similar in style, though often much superior in quality, to the mummy portraits done in wax (encaustic) and found at Fayyum in Egypt. A s we may judge from such items, the first depictions of Jesus were generic rather than portrait images, generally representing him as a beardless young man. It was some time before the earliest examples of the long-haired, bearded face that was later to become standardized as the image of Jesus appeared. W hen they did begin to appear there was still variation. A ugustine of Hippo (354-430) said that no one knew the appearance of Jesus or that of Mary. However, A ugustine was not a resident of the Holy Land and therefore was not familiar with the local populations and their oral traditions. Gradually, paintings of Jesus took on characteristics of portrait images. A t this time the manner of depicting Jesus was not yet uniform, and there was some controversy over which of the two most common icons was to be favored. The first or “Semitic” form showed Jesus with short and “frizzy” hair; the second showed a bearded Jesus with hair parted in the middle, the manner in which the god Zeus was depicted. Theodorus Lector remarked that of the two, the one with short and frizzy hair was “more authentic”. To support his assertion, he relates a story (excerpted by John of Damascus) that a pagan commissioned to paint an image of Jesus used the “Zeus” form instead of the “Semitic” form, and that as punishment his hands withered. Though their development was gradual, we can date the full-blown appearance and general ecclesiastical (as opposed to simply popular or local) acceptance of Christian images as venerated and miracle-working objects to the 6th century, when, as Hans Belting writes, “we first hear of the church’s use of religious images.” “A s we reach the second half of the sixth century, we find that images are attracting direct veneration and some of them are credited with the performance of miracles” Cyril Mango writes, “In the post-Justinianic period the icon assumes an ever increasing role in popular devotion, and there is a proliferation of miracle stories connected with icons, some of them rather shocking to our eyes”. However, the earlier references by Eusebius and Irenaeus indicate veneration of images and reported miracles associated with them as early as the 2nd century. W hat might be shocking to our contemporary eyes may not have been viewed as such by the early Christians. A cts 5:15 reports that “people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.” 7
Today icons are used particularly among Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Of the icon painting tradition that developed in Byzantium, with Constantinople as the chief city, we have only a few icons from the 11th century and none preceding them, in part because of the Iconoclastic reforms during which many were destroyed, and also because of plundering by Venetians in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, and finally the taking of the city by the Islamic Turks in 1453. It was only in the Comnenian period (1081-1185) that the cult of the icon became widespread in the Byzantine world, partly on account of the dearth of richer materials (such as mosaics, ivory, and enamels), but also because an iconostasis a special screen for icons was introduced then in ecclesiastical practice. The style of the time was severe, hieratic and distant. In the late Comnenian period this severity softened, and emotion, formerly avoided, entered icon painting. Major monuments for this change include the murals at Daphni (ca. 1100) and Nerezi near Skopje (1164). The Theotokos of Vladimir (ca. 1115) is probably the most representative example of the new trend towards spirituality and emotion. The tendency toward emotionalism in icons continued in the Paleologan period, which began in 1261. Paleologan art reached its pinnacle in mosaics such as those of the Kariye Camii (the former Chora Monastery). In the last half of the 14th century, Paleologan saints were painted in an exaggerated manner, very slim and in contorted positions, that is, in a style known as the Paleologan Mannerism, of which Ochrid’s Annunciation is a superb example. After 1453, the Byzantine tradition was carried on in regions previously influenced by its religion and culture ó in the Balkans and Russia, Georgia in the caucasus, and, in the Greek-speaking realm, on Crete.
PREVIOUSLY OWNED ICONS
Three Fathers of the Church, Byzantine, 14th c.(private collection)
Byzantine, Paleologue, 14thc. (detail from Entry to Jerusalem)
Crucifixion, Byzantine, 14th century
Hodegitria Mother of God. Byzantine 15th c.
St.George, Angelos Akotantos, 15th century
Hodigitria Mother of God, Byzantine 15thc
The Virgin & Child with two Angels, signed Victor,17thc
The Nativity of Christ, Cretan , c.1480.
Gold Medallion, Byzantine, 6th-7th c.AD. British Museum(obverse)
Diptych with the cycle of Jesus, Venetian, circa 1320
Byzantine art is the art of the Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire formed after the division of the Roman Empire between Eastern and Western halves, and sometimes of parts of Italy under Byzantine rule. It emerges from the Late Antique period in about 500 and soon formed a tradition distinct from that of Catholic Europe but with great influence over it. In the early medieval period the best Byzantine art, often from the large Imperial workshops, represented an ideal of sophistication and technique which European patrons tried to emulate. During the period of Byzantine iconoclasm in 730-843 the vast majority of icons (sacred images usually painted on wood) were destroyed; so little remains that today any discovery sheds new understanding and most remaining works are in Italy (Rome and Ravenna etc.), or Egypt at Saint Catherineâ€™s Monastery, Mount Sinai. Byzantine art was extremely conservative, for religious and cultural reasons, but retained a continuous tradition of Greek realism, which contended with a strong anti-realist and hieratic impulse. After the resumption of icon production in 843 until 1453 the Byzantine art tradition continued with relatively few changes, despite, or because of, the slow decline of the Empire. There was a notable revival of classical style In works of 10th century court art like the Paris Psalter, and throughout the period manuscript illumination shows parallel styles, often used by the same artist, for iconic figures in framed miniatures and more informal small scenes or figures added unframed in the margins of the text in a much more realist style. Monumental sculpture with figures remained a taboo in Byzantine art; hardly any exceptions are known. But small ivory reliefs, almost all in the iconic mode (the Harbaville Triptych is of similar date to the Paris Psalter, but very different in style), were a speciality, as was relief decoration on bowls and other metal objects. The Byzantine Empire produced much of the finest art of the Middle Ages in terms of quality of material and workmanship, with court production centred on Constantinople, although some art historians have questioned the assumption, still commonly made, that all work of the best quality with no indication as to origin was produced in the capital. Byzantine artâ€™s crowning achievement were the monumental frescos and mosaics inside domed churches, most of which have not survived due to natural disasters and the appropriation of churches to mosques.
Byzantine art exercised a continuous trickle of influence on Western European art, and the splendours of the Byzantine court and monasteries, even at the end of the Empire, provided a model for Western rulers and secular and clerical patrons. For example Byzantine silk textiles, often woven or embroidered with designs of both animal and human figures, the former often reflecting traditions originating much further east, were unexcelled in the Christian world until almost the end of the Empire. These were produced, but probably not entirely so, in Imperial workshops in Constantinople, about whose operations we know next to nothing similar workshops are often conjectured for other arts, with even less evidence.
1- Coptic textile. Orans Figure Egypt, 4-6th century AD. 48x32cm Orans (Latin, Praying), Orant or Orante is a figure in art withextended arms or bodily attitude of prayer, usually standing, with the elbows close to the sides of the the body and with the hands outstretched sideways, palms up. It was common in early Chrisianity and can frequently be seen in early Christianity and can frequently be seen in early Christian art figure.
Christies sale, London
2- St John the Youngest. Mosaic, Syro Aramaic, 5-7th century AD. 60x59cm
Moquimum Edessa Mosaic
3- The Baptism of Christ, Asia Minor, 13th century AD. 29x20 cm
4- Saint Theodosia of Constantinople Asia Minor, 14th Century 32.5x24.5 cm Shown half-length in a dark green nuns habit the folds delineated in black, a wimple of a paler green around her neck, her head covered with distinctive black cowl, she holds am ornate white martyrâ€™s cross, her left hand with the palm raised in a gesture of supplication, the slightly raised border with a double band in two tones of red; the flesh areas in orange tones over a translucent green underpaint and with lightly applied white highlights, the lips heightened with red; the background exposing the gesso.
5. The Deisis, Mainland Greece, c1400 27x24 cm The central panel with the Saviour resting on two cushions seated on a wooden throne with a curved back and gothic terminals, He wears a blue imation an supports the closed Gospels in his left knee whilst holding them with his corresponding hand, he blesses with his right; the leaves painted in two parts, the upper parts with the half-length figures of the Virgin and St. John the Baptist, the lowers parts with images of Ss. Peter and Paul, the haloes incised into the gold ground, with carved rope-twist borders.
6. Saint George Slaying the Dragon, Greek, 15th Century 24x20cm Painted on a gold ground, the warrior saint astride a white charger trampling the dragon below and transfixing it with his lance, the boy George shown seated behind him, the deep raised border with traces of nail holes.
VENETO-CRETAN AND GREEK ICONS Cretan School describes an important school of icon painting, also known as Post-Byzantine art, which flourished while Crete was under Venetian rule during the late Middle Ages, reaching its climax after the Fall of Constantinople, becoming the central force in Greek painting during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. The Cretan artists developed a particular style of painting under the influence of both Eastern and Western artistic traditions and movements. There was a substantial demand for Byzantine icons in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and, as a Venetian possession since 1204, Crete had a natural advantage and soon came to dominate the supply. A probable early example is the famous icon of the Virgin in Rome known as Our Mother of Perpetual Help, which was certainly well known in Rome by 1499. At this date there is little to distinguish Cretan work from other Byzantine icons stylistically, and the quality of work is lower than that associated with Constantinople. This period also saw considerable numbers of wall-paintings in local churches and monasteries - altogether some 850 from the 14th and 15th centuries survive in Crete, far more than from earlier or later periods. By the late 15th century, Cretan artists had established a distinct iconpainting style, distinguished by “the precise outlines, the modelling of the flesh with dark brown underpaint and dense tiny highlights on the cheeks of the faces, the bright colours in the garments, the geometrical treatment of the drapery, and, finally the balanced articulation of the composition”, or “sharp contours, slim silhouettes, linear draperies and restrained movements”. The most famous artist of the period was Andreas Ritzos (c. 1421-1492), whose son Nicholas was also well-known. Angelos Akotantos, until recently thought to be a conservative painter of the 17th century, is now, after the discovery of a will dated 1436, seen to have been an innovative artist in fusing Byzantine and Western styles, who survived until about 1457, when the will was actually registered. Interestingly, the will was made in anticipation of a voyage to Constantinople; several icons were bequeathed to church institutions, some Catholic but mainly Orthodox, and the disposition of his stock of pattern drawings was carefully specified. Andreas Pavias (d. after 1504) and his pupil Angelos Bizamanos, and Nicholas Tzafuris (d. before 1501) by the 16th century certain tradition was mixed with venetian elements created by major artists like Domenikos Theotocopolous (EL-GRECO) Michel Damaskinos and George Klontzas were other leading artists.
Even before the fall of Constantinople there is evidence that leading Byzantine artists were leaving the capital in order to settle in Crete. The migration of Byzantine artists to Crete continued increasingly the next years and reached its peak after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, when Crete became â€œthe most important centre of art in the Greek worldâ€?, influencing artistic developments in the rest of the Greek world. Cretan icons were commissioned for monasteries on Mount Athos and elsewhere. The Cretan school had a smaller rival; until it fell to the Turks in 1522, Rhodes also had a community of artists, but not so large or significant. The Venetian archives preserve considerable documentation on the trade of artistic icons between Venice and Crete, which by the end of the 15th century had become one of mass production. There is documentation of a specific order in 1499, of 700 icons of the Virgin, 500 in a Western style, and 200 in Byzantine style. The order was placed with three artists by two dealers, one Venetian and one from mainland Greece, and the time between contract date and delivery was set at only forty-five days. Probably the quality of many such commissioned icons was fairly low, and the dismissive term Madonneri was devised to describe such bulk painters, who later practised in Italy also, often using a quasi-Byzantine style, and apparently often Greek or Dalmatian individuals. Production of icons at these levels seems to have led to a glut in the market, and in the following two decades there is much evidence that the Cretan trade declined significantly, as the European demand had been reduced. But at the top end of the market Cretan icons were now the finest in the Byzantine world.
VENETO-CRETAN AND GREEK ICONS
7. The Madre della Consolazione Italo-Cretan, Late 15th Century 61x46cm The Mother of God shown half-lenght with thoughtful expression against a gold ground, her blue tunic covered with a red maphorion with a circular gold fastening at the chest, the hems decorated in gold with pseudo-Kufic inscriptions, the folds delineated with white shading, her head covered with a transparent white veil; the infant Saviour supported in her right arm resting, her head hand tenderly upon his left knee; over a gauze undershirt he wears a dark-green tunic finely decorated with gilt arabesques, and a bright red Imation with gold highlights; holding a gilt orb in his left hand in his left hand he supports a gilt orb, his right raised in blessing. The iconography of the Madre Della Consolazione, with its predominantly late Gothic Italian style appears to have been first introduced by the Cretan icon painter Nicholas Tzafouris in the second half of the 15th century. There are three examples bearing his signature, one in the Paul Canellopoulos Collection Athens, another in a private collection in Trieste, and a third from a private collection and now exhibited at the Ikonen-Museum, Recklinghausen, Germany. In the collection of the Byzantine Museum, Athens, there is also a panel of the same subject attributed to Tzafouris workshop that has an additional figure of Saint Francis. The present icon should be directly compared with these examples, adhering as it does precisely with the iconography of each of them and probably attributed to be workshop of Tzafouris. The icon should also be compared with a panel offered by Sotheby’s and now in a private collection which is identical in virtually every respect but which has the addition of two angels on the upper corners. Chrysanthe Baltoyanni has written extensively on a group of icons of the Madre della Consolazione, discussing the iconographic type and variants. (Chrysanthe Baltoyianni, Icons: Mother of God, Athens 1994, pp.273-303) 1 The Royal Academy of Arts, London, from Byzantine to El Greco: Greek Frescoes and Icons, London 1987, No. 42, p.110, 175-43; and Holy Image, Holy Space: Icons and Frescoes from Greece, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1988, No. 53, p. 136, 211-212. 2 M. Bianco Forin, “Nicola Zafuri, “cretese del Quatrocento e una sua inedita Madonna”, Arte Venetta XXXVII, 1983, pp. 164-169. 3 Eva Haustein-Bertsch, Icons: Ikonen-Museum, Recklinhausen, Cologne 2008, p.44. 4 Myrtali Acheimastou-Potamianou, Icons of the Byzantine Museum of Athensm Athens 1998, No.40, pp. 144-145; and Holy image, Holy Space (Op cit), No. 54, pp. 212-213. 5 Sotheby’s London, Icons, Russian Pictures Works of Art and Fafergé, 20th February 1985, Lot 72 38
7a. Virgin of Tenderness Cretan, c. 1500 58x48cm Follower of A ngelos A kotantos
8. Saints Peter and Paul Ilato-Cretan, (Attributed to Nicholas Tzafouris) Late 15th Century. 15.5x12.5cm The Two apostle shown full-length on a green foreground, Peter with a dark green tunic, the cuffs and neck decorated with gold, over which he wears an ochre-coloured mantles, lined with real and trimmed with gold; in his right hand he hold two gold keys, and in his left hand, supported by the crook of his arm, her holds an elaborately bound closed Gospels; Paul wears a similarly coloured tunic also with gold fringed cuffs, and a red mantle with dark green lining and hemmed with gold, in his right hand he holds aloft a drawn sword which rests at an angel against his left shoulder, in his left hand he also hold a closed gospels bound in red with gilt decoration; the gold background with traces of Latin designator inscriptions in red, and with an old piercing for hanging. It is interesting to compare this panel with a number of icons of the same subject from the Cretan school, most notably The Embrace of the Apostles Peter and Paul by the 15th century painter Angelos from the Hodegitria Monastery, Candia, Crete; as well as two roundels of the same subject attributed to the same painter, one from the Monastery of St. John the Theologian, Patmos, the order in the C. krimbas Collection, Athens, recently exhibited in Athens.1 The same exhibition also included a large panel from the second half of the 15th century, attributed to Nikolaos Ritzos, of Saints Peter and Paul the Model of a Church, in the Galleria dellĂ Academia, Florence. Catalogued by Nano Chatzidakis, she extensively discusses the theological and political significance of icons of Peter and Paul to Venetian Crete2. Comparison should also be made with a later icon of The Embracing of Peter and Paul, from the Chapel of the Bishops Palace, Ioannina, dated to the 16th century.3 The Italianate aspect of elements of the painting, in particular the treatment of the garments and the realism with which the gospels, keys, and sword have been rendered, as well as the traces of Latin inscription at the top panel indicate that the icon was produced for a Catholic client.
Nicholas Tzafouris - Prague Museum
9. The Madre Della Consolazione Italo-Cretan, Circa 1500 44x33cm A variant of the more common iconography with the Virgin in a diaphanous veil and dark-green tunic, her dark red maphorion closed with a circular clasp and with a green lining, the hems with fine gilt decoration; she supports the infant Savior in her left arm and rests her right hand tenderly on his knee; he wears a dark-green tunic with gilt geometric decoration, his orange-colored Imation extensively heightened with gold, and holds a furled scroll in his left hand whilst raising his right in blessing, the gold background above with abbreviated red inscriptions for the Virgin and the Savour. The icon should be compared with another variant in a private Athenian collection, dated to the late 16th century, in which the infant Christ holds an unfurled scroll and a quill, and with five others from the collection of the Byzantine Museum and the Benaki Museum, Athens, dated to between the second half of the 15th century to the end of the 16th century(1). (1) - Chrysanthe Baltoyianni,Icons: Mother of God, Athens 1994, Nos. 78,79,80,81,82,83, pp.291-295, pls. 160-177.
10. The Nativity, Cretan, 16th century 32.5x26 cm Painted on a gold ground, the Virgin is depicted kneeling in the centre of the composition rather than as is usual, lying on a pallet, and her gaze is directed down towards her son in the lower corner who is seated on the lap of a midwife whilst a young girl fills a basin with water in preparation of a bath; slightly behind Her, the infant Christ is shown within a cave, swaddled in a crib and attended by a donkey and a cow, whilst in the lower left-hand corner Joseph sits on a rock accompanied by an elderly shepherd; above, the three magi ascend the mountain on their horses following the star with a choir of angels beyond, and to the right, an angel announces the arrival to a young shepherd who is shown with his flock holding a stick wearing a traditional hat. Of particular note is unusual iconography of the Virgin which depicts her kneeling on a plateau on the mountain with her arms crossed in front in adoration, rather than with the more traditional Byzantine iconography which depicts her reclining on a pallet. This variant iconography was first used for icons produced for a Western market, although in all other respects it conforms to the standard Byzantine prototype. The earliest occurrences are in the Stavronikita Monastery, Mount Athos in a painting of the Nativity by Theophanes in the katholikon, and in a panel painting of the same subject from the Stavronikita iconostasis, produced in 1535 and 1546 respectively. The same iconography also appears in a wall-painting by Frankos Katelanos in the katholicon of the Varlaam Monastery in Meteora, executed in 1548. Comparison should be made with an ealier Cretan icon of the Nativity from the Loverdos Collection in the Byzantine Museum, Athens, date to the first half of the the 15th century, and also a slighty later icon of the same subject in the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, Patmos, attributed to a Christos Patrinelis et al. Schediasma Istorias tis Thriskeutikis Zougraphikis Meta tin Alousin Athens 1957, pl 30). Myrtali Acheimastou 単 Potamianou, Icons of the Byzantine Museum of Athen, Athens, 1998, No.26, pp.96-7. Manolis Chatzidakis, Icons of Patmos: Questions of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Painting, Athens 1989, No.39, pp.87-8, Pls. 35 and 97.
Nativity c.1400. Italy
Nativity, 14th c. Italy
11. The Adoration of the Magi, Michel Damaskinos studio C. 1580, 66x52cm
12. A Triptych depicting the cycle of Jesus Christ. A masterpiece by Gorgios Klontzas Circa 1580-1595 81.5x65 (open) Georges Klontzas, came from a family of painters, and ranks amongst the great masters of late 16th century certan painting. After working in Candia (in Crete) between 1564 and 1576, he also worked in Venice, where he became influenced by the contemporary achievements of Venetian art. It is known from archives that Klontzas has a large workshop in Candia. In this marvelous Triptych, Klontzas follows a conversative style; the paintwork catches the eye through its refined miniature technique and radiant colouring, its sensitive modelling and balanced monumental composition.
- French Private Collection.
Last Supper & Week of Passion
Triptych of the Second Coming, G. Klontzas, Hellenic Institute, Venice, Italy
13. St. Paraskeva, Cretan, late 16th Century 36.5x28cm Portrayed half-length in a blue veil, her salmon pink outer garment with bold white highlights, and holding a martyrs cross, the foreground in olive green, the pale blue background painted with wispy clouds, with a gilt halo; the upper part of the panel with white inscription identifying the saint; the border of the panel with a red edge. It is useful to compare this icon with a 15th century icon of St. Paraskeva in Crete1, the icon of St. Paraskevi from the Church of the Diasozousa, Crete, dated by Chazidakis to the middle of the 16th century2, and a panel from the 17th century in the Ekonomopulos Collection, Athens3. 1 Manolis Chazidakis (Ed.), Eikones Tis Kritikis Technis, Heraklion 1993, No.112 2 Chrysanthi Baltoyanni, Icons: Demetrios Ekonomopoulos Collection, Athens 1986, No.99, pp.66-67, pl.156 3 Manolis Chatzidakis, Icons of Patmos: Questions of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Painting, Athens 1985, No.57, p.99, P1.11
14. The Dormition of the Virgin, Greek, c.1600, 35x28cm Painted on bright colours on a gold ground
15. The Adoration of the Magi, Italo-Cretan, 17th Century 50x40cm The Virgin is shown seated wearing a dark red dress covered with a green mantle, her head covered with a pink veil decorated with delicate gold tracery; she supports the playful figure of the infant Christ on her left knee whilst supporting him with her right hand, Joseph stands behind Her holding a wooden staff and gazing down towards the infant; in the front the first king with a pale beard kneels, his turban on the ground in front of him, and presents a gilt chalice; behind him the second king with a dark complexion and pierced ears, dressed in ornate Ottoman costume with a green kaftan and ochre coloured turban picked out with gold, holds aloft a gilt censer in his right hand; behind him the third king wearing a gold diadem holds container and bows towards the child, a cloud and mountain tops in the background. The iconography is directly taken from Renaissance models and should be compared with a number of examples in Italy, most notably in Renaissance models and should be compared with a Nazionale di Ravenna in particular holds a number of panels with identical and Trieste.7 The Mueso iconography.8 This icon, as well as those in Ravenna and elsewhere all appear to have been derived from elements in two prototypes painted by Jacopo Bassano (1510-1592), the Adoration of the Magi (1542) now in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh; and the Adoration of Shepherds (c.1555), now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. The icon should also be compared with an earlier panel of the same subject from the Velimezis Collection and attributed by Nano Chatzidakis to the art of Angelos Pitzamanos.9
16. The Virgin Galaktotrophousa with St. Peter Italo-Cretan, 16th Century 27.2x21.3 cm
17. The Deisis Cretan, 16th Century 47x43 cm
18. The Virgin & Child with St. John the Baptist Italo-Cretan, 16th Century 37x28 cm
19. The Hodigitria Mother of God Greek, 17th Century 27.5x22 cm
20. The Descending from the Cross Cretan, style of E.Tzanes 17th Century 51x33.6 cm
21.The Resurrection, Cretan, style of E. Tzanes, 17th Century 32x24cm Christ stands on the lid of a closed marble sarcophagus holding a red vexillium in his left hand whilst his right is raised in a triumphal gesture, with a white loincloth and red chlamys which billows behind him echoing the movement of the pendant flag, the contours of his body accentuated with white highlights; on either side of the tomb are the three soldiers guarding the sepulcher, depicted in elaborate European style armour with helmets, swords and haldberds, a fourth figure is shown wearing civilian attire and with a soft hat; the mountainous terrain in the background with the scene of the Crucifixion with vacant crosses, the city of Jerusalem beyond; gilt ground. Following a western model, the composition is derived from quattrocento Italian painting and is first encountered in Greek painting in an icon by the 15th century icon painter Andreas Ritzos of the initials JHS (the abbreviation of Jesus Hominum Sanctum), in the Byzantine Museum, Athens;18 as well as an icon by Andrea Pavias of the late 15th century in the MusÈs díArt et díhistoire, Geneva.19 The iconography can also be seen in a leaf from a triptych tentatively attributed to a pupil of Andreas Pavias, and dated to c.1500m in the Museo Nazionale, Ravenna.20 There are also several examples of the 17th and 18th centuries with comparable iconography in the George Tsakiroglou Collection.21
22. Christ Pantocrator Greek, Mount Athos, 17th Century 67x32.5 cm
23.The Virgin Enthroned with St. John and St. Spiridon, Ionian Islands, 17th Century 46.5x44.5cm The Virgin, supported on a tasseled red cushion on an elaborate carved marble throne, her red maphorion surmounted with a gold crown; the infant Saviour is supported on Her lap holding an unfurled scroll and marketing a gesture of blessing; behind are the fulllength figures of St. John the Baptist in typical asetic garb, and the Bishop Saint Spiridon of Corfu, painted ion bright colours against a gold ground, the border edged in red.
24. Saint Nicholas Greek, 17th Century 39x28cm Shown half-length on a gold ground, with an orange-red phailonion, his omophorion decorated with crosses within formal floral decoration, in his left hand he holds the closed gold-bound Gospels and with is right he blesses, with a raised double border 1 Maria Vassilakis (Ed), The Hand of Angelos: an Icon Painter in Venetian Crete, Athens 2010, Nos.2527, pp.152-157. 2 Maria Vassilakis (Ed), Op cit, No.58, pp.220-221 3 Exhibition Catalogue: Old University, Athens, July 26th 1985-January 6th 1986, Byzantine and Post Byzantine Art, No.145,p.141. 4 Manolis Chatzidakis and Eugenia Drakopoulos, Ellines Zougraphou Meta Tin Alosin (1450-1830), Vol.2, Athens 1997 pp.53-56 5 Zoun A. Mylouna, Mouseiou Zakynthou, Athens 1998. 6 Nano Chatizidakis, Icons: The Velimezis Collection, Athens 1998, No.46, pp.346-353 7 P. Angiolini-Martinelli, Le Icone della collezione classense di Ravenna, Bologna 1982, Nos.123-125, 125.1, 131, pp.78-80. 8 Exhibition catalogue: Icone dale collezioni del Museum Nazionale di Ravenna, Ravenna SeptemberNovember 1979Nos.119-134, pp.76-83. 9 Nano Chatizidakis, Icons: The Velimezis Collection: Catalogue RaisonnÈ, Athens 1998, No.15, pp.166173. 10 The Royal Academy of Arts, London, From Byzantine to El Greco: Greek Frescoes and Icons, London 1987, No.42, [.110, 175-43; and Holy Space: Icons and Frescoes from Greece, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 1988, No.53, p.136, 211-212. 11 M.Bianco Florin, ëNicola Zafurií, ëcretese del Quatrocento e una sua inedita Madonnaí, Arte Veneta XXXVII, 1983, pp.164-169. 12 Eva Haustein-Bretsh, Icons: Ikonen-Museum, Recklinghausen, Cologne 2008, p.44 13 Myrtali Acheimastou-Potamianou, Icons of the Byzantine Museum of Athensm Athens 1998, No.40, pp.144-145; and Holy Image, Holy Space (op cit), No.54, pp.212-213 14 Sothebyís London, Icons, Russian Pictures Works of Art and FabergÈ, 20th February 1985, Lot72. 15 Manolis Chazidakis (Ed.), Eikones Tis Kritikis Technis, Heraklion 1993, no.112 16 Chrysanthi Baltoyanni, Icons: Demetrios Ekonomopoulos Collection, Athen 1986, No.99, pp.66-67, pl.156 17 Manolis Chatzidakis, Icons of Patmos: Questions of Byzantine and Post- Byzantie Painting, Athens 1985, No.57m p.99, Pl.11 18 Myrtali Acheimastou-Potamianou, Icons of the Byzantine Museum of Athens, Athens, 1998, No.37, pp.132-5. 19 Miroslav Lazovic & Stella Frigerio-Zeniou, Les Icones du MusÈe díArt et díhistoire, GenËve, No.3. 20 Nano Chatzidakis, From Candia to Venice: Greek Icons in Italy 15th ñ 16th Centuries, Athens 1993, No.28, pp.124-127 21 Agapi Karakatzani, Zillogi Georgiou Tsakiroglou: Eikones, Athens 1980, Nos. 118-120, ill.p.111, No.190, ill.p.164, and No.191m ill.p.171.
25. Entroned Virgin & Child with SS Nicholas John the Baptist & two other Saints, lower register with SS George & Demitrios. Greek, 17th Century 44x35 cm
26. The Pentecost Greek, 17th Century 54x39 cm
27. Saint Paul, Greek, 16th Century, 33.5x31cm
28. Saints Demitrios and Nestor Greek, possibly Mount Athos, 17th Century 44x29cm The warrior saints shown on a dark green ground beneath a half-length cloud-borne vision of the Saviour, each in elaborate gilt armour and holding a lance and shield, the borders and upper corners of the panel with gilt stucco decorated with stylized foliage and flower heads, in which the infant Christ holds an unfurled scroll and a quill. Five others icons from the collection of th Byzantine Museum and the Benaki Museum, Athens, dated to between the second half of the 15th century to the end of the 16th century. Chrysanthe Baltoyianni, Icons: Mother 79,80,81,82,83,pp.291-295, pls. 160-177.
29. The Virgin of Tenderness, Nicholas Kallergis, Crete, Dated 1720 20x15.5cm Painted on a gold ground, the Virgin supports the infant Saviour with her left arm and holds him in an intimate embrace, He gazes at His mother who holds up His left hand with her own, the border with a black scrolling foliate design over bands of red, white, and yellow; the lower edge inscribed in Greek in red: Deisis Tou Doulou Tou Theou Nikolaou Katrami Kheir Nikolaou Kalergis Tou Kriti There are two painters with the recorded with name Nicholas Kalergis neither of whom is known to have signed his works as in this icon.4 The first, with only one known panel signed by him and dated 1651 in the museum of Heraklion, Crete, and the second who was active between 1699-1747, the son of the priest and icon painter Frangiskos Kallergis. Born on Crete he left Rethymon when it fell to the Ottomans in 1645 and settled on Zakynthos where his output was considerable and which includes a number of wall paintings and numerous icons some of which are held by the Zakynthos Museum.5 Kallergis painted in a range of styles and is known to have copied old icons brought to Zakynthos by Cretan refugees. An icon of St. Spiridon and Scenes from his life in the Velimezis Collections, signed and dates 1744 is one of the last known dated works by Kallergis.6
30. Virgin & Child Cretan. c. 1730 60x43 cm
31. Pieta V-Cretan, 15th Century 52.5x46 cm
Sothebys sale, NewYork
32. Cross Engraved open work, Mount Athos Greek, 17th Century 16.8x6.3 cm Observe
MEDIEVAL ART & LATER The medieval art of the Western world covers a vast scope of time and place, over 1000 years of art in Europe, and at times the Middle East and North Africa. It includes major art movements and periods, national and regional art, genres, revivals, the artists crafts, and the artists themselves. Art historians attempt to classify medieval art into major periods and styles, often with some difficulty. A generally accepted scheme includes Early Christian art, Migration Period art, Byzantine art, Insular art, Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque art, and Gothic art, as well as many other periods within these central styles. In addition each region, mostly during the period in the process of becoming nations or cultures, had its own distinct artistic style, such as Anglo-Saxon art or Norse art. Medieval art was produced in many media, and the works that remain in large numbers include sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass, metalwork and mosaics, all of which have had a higher survival rate than other media like fresco wallpaintings, work in precious metals or textiles, including tapestry. Especially in the early part of the period, works in the so-called “minor arts” or decorative arts, such as metalwork, ivory carving, enamel and embroidery using precious metals, were probably more highly valued than paintings or monumental sculpture. Medieval art in Europe grew out of the artistic heritage of the Roman Empire and the iconographic traditions of the early Christian church. These sources were mixed with the vigorous “Barbarian” artistic culture of Northern Europe to produce a remarkable artistic legacy. Indeed the history of medieval art can be seen as the history of the interplay between the elements of classical, early Christian and “barbarian” art. Apart from the formal aspects of classicism, there was a continuous tradition of realistic depiction of objects that survived in Byzantine art throughout the period, while in the West it appears intermittently, combining and sometimes competing with new expressionist possibilities developed in Western Europe and the Northern legacy of energetic decorative elements. The period ended with the self-perceived Renaissance recovery of the skills and values of classical art, and the artistic legacy of the Middle Ages was then disparaged for some centuries. Since a revival of interest and understanding in the 19th century it has been seen as a period of enormous achievement that underlies the development of later Western art.
33. The Annunciation, with the Virgin Mary and the Archangel Gabriel. Frescoes mounted and framed. Romanesque period c.1125 - 1200 AD France or Northern Italy. 110x71cm (without frame)
34. Virgin of Tenderness. Italian after Duccio. 14th century or later. 47x32 cm
35. Virgin & Child. Italian after Duccio. 14th century or later. 27x20 cm
36. Virgin & Child with Angels and SS Bernardino and Anthony. Italian Sano Di Pietro (attributed) C.1400 50.5x33.5 cm
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ICONS FROM THE ORTHODOX WORLD (a private collection)