See the Book
Imprinted cartoon.* Charcoal, pencil (?)
(In the imprinted anthivolon the representation is in reverse to the work that was the model.)
37.4 x 26.7 cm.
Second half of the 19th century
The drawing, in satisfactory condition, has a sharp fold along the horizontal axis, where most of the damage is concentrated.
Christ, a robust figure with thick neck, sparse beard and long, wavy hair falling freely on the shoulders, is depicted in frontal pose to the hips. He wears a chiton and a richly-draped himation, and blesses with his raised right hand, while resting the left on the globe of the universe, projecting amidst clouds.
The drawing deviates from the established iconography of the Pantocrator, on the one hand in the portrait type of Christ with long, loose hair, which refers to the Byzantine representation of the Holy Mandylion. and is encountered frequently in depictions of the Pantocrator from the eighteenth century onward in Greece, the Balkans and Russia, and on the other in the replacement of the gospel book by the globe, an element that possibly derives from imperial iconography and occurs in the composition of the anthropomorphic Holy Trinity from the mid-sixteenth century, while in the same period it dominates in representations of Christ Saviour of the World in Western prints.
The Pantocrator in half-body or enthroned, with globe, open codex, and sometimes sceptre, particularly popular during the eighteenth century, is henceforth encountered in a several variations in portable icons or murals by painters from Kapesovo, Soudena (pres. Pedina), Samarina, and Korytsa in Albania. Iconographic parallels for the present drawing are to be seen on a silver icon revetment in the church of the Holy Trinity at
Lixouri on Cephalonia (late 18th century), in nineteenth-century Holy Sepulchre icons identified in Thessalonica and Bulgaria, but mainly in wall-paintings and portable iconsby painters from Chioniades, the earliest example being the icon by Zikos son of George in the Septos Oikos of St George the Neo-Martyr at Ioannina (circa 1838).
The identity in certain points of the anthivolon and two icons in the church of the Saviour at Ano Pedina one of which is a signed work by Anastasios Marinas (1884), from whose family archive the drawing comes, permits the dating of the imprinted cartoon to the last quarter of the nineteenth century and its attribution to this painter or his successors.
Grabar 1931, 5, pls I-VI. Παπαδάκη-Oekland 1987-1988, 283-294. Cf. nos 3 and 5 in the present catalogue.
Θησαυροί του Αγίου Όρους 1997, no. 2.110 (I. Tavlakis). Motovos 1960, 13, fig. 3. Ζίας-Καδάς 1998, 268, fig. 245. Papastratos 1990, vol. I, nos 1-5.
Μακρής 1991, 93. Paskaleva 1987, no. 135. Μπαλτογιάννη 1985, no. 241, 244. Icone Russe 2003, nos 319, 332, 395, 408, 409, 412.
Βοκοτόπουλος 1990, no. 41. Τούρτα 1991, 205, pl. 130. Χατζηδάκης-Δρακοπούλου 1997, 140, fig. 72. Papastratos 1990, vol. I, no 70.
New Hollstein Engravings 1999, no. 72. New Hollstein Engravings 2000, nos 54, 58, 78, 86.
Ημερολόγιο 2003, no no.
Βοκοτόπουλος 1966, 306, fig. 114.
Μακρής 1991, 95.
Vinjau Caca 2002, figs 214, 213. Τσιγάρας 2003, 219, fig. 199.
Κεφαλονιά ΙΙ, 1994, fig. 72
Ζάρρα 2003, 70-71, figs 1, 3.
La parole et l’image 2004, 46, figs II.30, II.31.
In the church of St George at Kleisoura, Preveza (1839), in the church of the Virgin at Kavasila, Konitsa (1864) and in the dome of the church of
St Demetrios at Vourbiani (early 20th century. Unpublished).
Two icons with similar representation of Christ are kept in the church of St Athanasios al Chioniades and two others have been located in the church of the Saviour at Ano Pedina.
Unpublished. I am grateful to C. Skourtis for bringing the works in Chioniades to my attention and for kindly providing photographs from the
archive of the Museum of Chioniades Painters.