Project Description


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Imprinted anthivolon
(In the imprinted anthivolon or drawing the representation is in reverse in relation to the work that was the model.)
87.5 x 60 cm.
19th century
Industrial paper

The surface of the drawing, composed of eight sheets of paper joined together, is in satisfactory condition : with limited mechanical damage (creases, tears, holes).

Christ Great High Priest, seated in formal, frontal pose on a luxurious wood-carved throne, wears prelatic vestments and an elaborate mitre. He blesses with the right hand and holds an open gospel book in the left. The majestic figure is surrounded by the four winged symbols of the Evangelists, emphasizing the apo- calyptic content of the representation.

The pictorial rendering of the enthroned Christ as ‘Great High Priest’ in combination with his status as a ‘King of Kings’, is a creation of the mid-fourteenth century1 In iconography and style the present icon refers to the art of the Ionian Islands in the seventeenth- eighteenth century,2 remodelling and reproducing the old authoritative models with a simplistic and eclectic disposition. Christ’s ornate mitre is encountered frequently in works from the Ionian Islands,3 as is the baroque wood-carved throne with winged figures, which was established by Emmanuel Tzanes4 and copied by, among others, Stephanos Tzankarolas, Andreas Karantinos and Gerasimos Kokkinos.5 The lower part of the throne, with the undulating, back-curving scroll motifs, also recalls works by Tzanes6 and his successors,7 as well as eighteenth-century Venetian and Corfiot prints with depictions of the Virgin ‘Phaneromeni’8 During the eighteenth-nineteenth century, Epirot painters from Kapesovo,9 Samarina10 and Chioniades11 represented the subject, adopting similar iconographic elements, so confirming their close depended on the art of the Ionian Islands. The type of Christ King-High Priest was used mainly in despotic icons for iconostases and archiepiscopal thrones. Two icons identical to the drawing have been identified in the churches of St George and the Evangelistria at Komboti, Arta. The first is dated 1743,12 while the second is signed by painters Apostolos, Sokratis and Christodoulos from Chioniades, and dated 1876.13 The present drawing, which comes from Christodoulos’s archive, seems to copy the icon of 1743 and was subsequently used for that of 1876. In all three works the penchant for the decorative and the opulent contribute to the triumphal rendering of a particularly potent theological issue.

1  Παπαμαστοράκης 1993-1994, 67-76, figs 1-9.
2  Μυλωνά 1998, no. 95. Mystery Great and Wondrous 2002, no. 73 (Z. Mylona). Χατζηδάκης  1987, 193, fig.59.
3  Κεφαλονιά Ι, 1989, fig. 136. Χατζηδάκης-Δρακοπούλου 1997, 70, fig. 20. Βοκοτόπουλος 1990, no. 129. Acheimastou-Potamianou 1998a, nos 46, 58.
4  Κατσελάκη 1995, 134-136.
5  Κατσελάκη 1995, 464-466
6  Βοκοτόπουλος 1990, nos 76-77
7  Βοκοτόπουλος 1990, nos 107-118
8  Papastratos 1990, vol. I, nos 162-166.
9 Τσεπέλοβο 2000, 9, fig. 7. Νάνου 2005a, 173-174, figs 6, 17.
10 Μακρής 1991, 95.
11 Νάνου 2005a, 172-173
12 Γιαννούλης 2002, 103-104, 122-128, figs 56-59.
13.Γιαννούλης 2002, 141, fig. 65.

Christ Great High Priest.

Imprinted anthivolon, industrial paper. Early 19th c.

87.5 x 60 cm

(donation no. 78)

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. 2, page 388.