Project Description


See the Book


Drawing. Charcoal
78 x 51 cm.
Late 18th early 19th century
Handmade (?) paper

The drawing on a single sheet of handmade paper glued to canson and card is in poor condition with extensive mechanical damage mainly at the points where it was folded to be stored.

Christ Great High Priest, in formal pose, wearing prelatic vestments and imperial mitre, sits on a carved wooden throne, blesses and holds an open gospel book with blank pages.

The iconographic type of Christ High Priest, of seminal significative content, is known from Palaiologan times1 and enjoyed wide
dissemination in the years after the Fall of Constantinople, primarily in despotic icons on the iconostasis.2 The representation follows the established iconographic type, which was crystallized in the fifteenth century.3

The baroque throne with vegetal decoration finds parallels in later works from the Ionian Islands,4 while it also displays overt affinity with the throne of St John the Evangelist in a drawing in the Giannoulis Collection (19th century).5 Flat thrones with comparable schematic finials also occur frequently in nineteenth- century prints.6 The type of the elegant mitre is associated with Cretanâ7 and Ionian island works,8 while it is also encountered in regions in the sphere of influence of the latter.9 The portrait type of Christ, with the small head, fine features, short beard and kempt hair, with calm and benevolent expression, emanates high ethos and spiritual grandeur. The figure with its proud deportment, majestic and imposing yet serene and joyous, with a certain extravagance in the gestures, refers to works in the Tonian Islands, such as the icons by Panagiotis Doxaras (1691) and Nikolaos Kallergis (1723) in Zakynthos.10 The direct dependence of the drawing on the art of the Ionian Islands points to a painter who renders carefully and proficiently, but somewhat academically, the established models.

A. K.

1 Παπαμαστοράκης 1993-1904, 67-76.
2 Chatzidakis 1985, 67. Βοκοτόπουλος 1990.
3 Chatzidakis 1985, no. 15.
4 Κεφαλονιά Ι 1989, fig. 184.
5 Εκ Χιονιάδων 2004, no. 89 (N.Toutos).
6 Papastratos 1990, nos 128, 130-133, 295-300.
7 Δρανδάκη 2002, nos 31, 32.
8 Acheimastou-Potamianou 1998a, no. 58.
9 Χριστιανική Συλλογή 2006, no. 361 (K.-Ph. Kalafati).
10 Mystery Great and Wondrous 2002, no. 77 (Z. Mylona).

Christ Great High Priest.

Drawing, charcoal, handmade(?) paper. Late 18th – early 19th c.

78 x 51 cm

(donation no. 75)

A. Katselaki-M. Nanou,  Anthivola. Τhe Holy Cartoons from Chionades, The Makris-Margaritis Collection, publication of the Museum of Greek Folk Art, Athens 2009, cat. no. 1, page 387.