Project Description


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Imprinted anthivolon. Possible additions in charcoal
(In the imprinted anthivolon the representation is in reverse in relation to the work that was the model)
86x 51.5 cm.
Late 18th-early 19th century
Handmade paper

The anthivolon comprises six sheets of handmade paper, of different size, glued to rice-paper and card. Damage around the edge and on the inside holes, splashes of colour and greasy stains.

The Pantocrator is shown in frontal pose, his head turned slightly to the right and his gaze directed at the viewer. He blesses and holds an open gospel book, the blank pages of which are hatched. He wears a chiton with clavus and a himation with dense linear drapery and generous overfolds. The subject and the dimensions of the anthivolon indicate its provenance from and use for despotic icons of an iconostasis. The type of the Pantocrator is encountered already in Palaiologan works,1 and remains in continuous use throughout the Late Byzantine period.2 This type is distinguished by the freeing of Christ’s right hand from the himation, the manner of blessing with the palm outwards, and the open gospel book which he holds from below. From the sixteenth century onward, the type occurs in icons by eponymous sixteenth-century Cretan painters, such as Theophanes3 and Michael Damaskenos,4 was also adopted by Frangos Katelanosa5 and survived until the eighteenth-nineteenth century in icons by Dionysios from Fourna on Mount Athos6 and by Andreas Karantinos7 and Gerasimos Kokkinos in Cephalonia.8 The particular portrait features of Christ refer to two anthivola in the Giannoulis Collection, which are associated with the art of the painters from Kapesovo,9 while representations identical to the drawing, such as the wall-paintings of the Pantocrator in the church of St George at Negades (1795)10 and in the monastery of Prophet Elijah at Zitsa (1800),11 as well as the despotic icon of St Charalambos at Vrysochori (1813),12 lead to the same painters. The above indicate the possible provenance of the drawing from a Kapesovo workshop and permit its dating to the end of the eighteenth or the beginning of the nineteenth century.

M. Nanou

1  Εικόνες Κύπρου 1976,  nos 5, 14.Βοκοτόπουλος 1990, no. 19. Χατζηδάκης 1995, 489-493,  with related bibliography. Mystery Great and Wondrous 2002, no. 53 (N. Chatzidakis).
2 Mystery Great and Wondrous 2002, nos 55 (N. Chatzidakis), 57 (P.L. Vocotopoulos). Matakieva-Lilkova 1994, no. 7A.
3 Chatzidakis 1969-1970, fig. 45. Θησαυροί του Αγίου Όρους 1997, no. 2.41 (E.N. Tsigaridas).
4 Βοκοτόπουλος 1990, no.19, figs 21, 109, 341d.
5 Τούρτα 2002, 287-291, fig. 1.
6 Βασιλάκη 1998, fig. 82. Κακαβάς 2008, 205-210, figs 154, 155, 156.
7 Νέα Αποκτήματα 1997, no. 33 (Chr. Baltoyanni).
8 Χατζηδάκης-Δρακοπούλου 1997, 98-99, fig. 49.
9 Εκ Χιονιάδων 2004, nos 59a (M. Nanou), 60 (M. Nanou).
10 Unpublished.
11 Καμαρούλιας‚ 1996, 542, fig. 699.
12 Unpublished. The icon comes from the iconostasis of one of the chapels of the church, which is devoted to Saint Menas. I am particularly grateful to M. Tsoupi for bringing the relevant photograph to my attention.

Christ Pantocrator.

Imprinted anthivolon, possible additions in charcoal, handmade paper.

Late 18th – early 19th c.

86 x 51.5 cm

(donation no. 74 )

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. 6, page 392.