Project Description


See the Book

See the Study


33.5 x 26.5 x 2.5 cm, with frame: 68.7 x 45 cm

Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Crete, 1566

The icon is in the form of a small tabernacle. The main subject is painted within an ellipse inscribed in a rectangle (Figs 1, 93). Three angels holding an outspread white shroud uphold the lifeless Christ, portrayed at the centre, upright and turned three-quarters right. His nimbed head with eyes closed droops downwards in profile (Figs 101, 104-105), while his hair falls freely on the forehead and shoulders. His body follows an almost perpendicular axis to the knees, where both legs bend and cross behind obliquely. The arms, parallel with the body, are relaxed in pose; the right hand is twisted at the wrist with the palm closed and turned backwards; the left, slightly apart from the body, is lightly supported at the wrist by the angel on the right. The shroud, with its broad irregular folds, covers Christ’s body around the thighs, like the loincloth.
The middle angel, with both wings outspread, holds up Christ’s body from the armpit. His right hand is covered by the winding sheet while the left holds an edge of it and grasps Christ’s forearm from above (Figs 95, 104, 105, 106). He wears a chiton with multiple folds, in shades of rose and deep violet, pinned by a brooch on the shoulder. His wings are painted in roseate violet to almost white brushstrokes, with deep blue at the centre which has been altered by the old conservation and is now almost black. The two angels at the sides are depicted lower down, each at a different level.
The angel on the left is higher, full-bodied and holds the white shroud in both hands which are extended towards Christ (Figs 95, 102, 107). He wears a short, reddish, sleeveless chiton cinched tightly at the waist by a wide, deep blue sash that flutters behind, a white chemise with rolled-back sleeves, leaving his sturdy forearms bare, and a long dark blue chiton, slit and exposing the bare right thigh and the lower leg with the high Roman sandal. His wings are painted in shades of rose, from almost red to almost white, and deep blue at the centre.
The angel on the right appears from the waist upwards, behind the sarcophagus, his head slightly lower than that of Christ. In the left hand he holds the edge of the shroud that spreads out in front of his body (Figs 101. 103). He wears a dark blue chiton with long sleeves, tightly girdled at the waist with a pale rose sash which passes in front of the left shoulder, spreads behind the head and billows upwards in bright shades of deep rose; the same sash, in red, is wound around the neck and tied in front on the chest. At the same point the dark blue tip of his wing is visible, with marginal touches of white.
The painting in the lower right part of the icon is badly damaged. Nevertheless, the incised traces of a rectangular, marble sarcophagus drawn in lateral perspective (Figs 97-99) are clearly discernible. Its rose-reddish brown colour is preserved in places and incisions hereabout also indicate the fall of the folds of the now effaced shroud.
The entire scene was painted on a gold ground which was badly damaged in previous cleaning using fire, as is the case with most of the icons in the Collection (Fig. 95). Some traces of it have survived, mainly near the outlines of the figures, and it is clearly visible below the faces of the angels and at the edges under their wings (Fig. 106), where the paint layer has flaked. The paint on the sarcophagus and part of the shroud has been lost, while the blue of the garments and the angels’ wings has acquired a blackish tone, due to the previous method of cleaning. The damage has revealed the coat of reddish bole on the off-white gesso layer; the incised preliminary design is also visible, as is the case in many Cretan icons.1
Prior to its recent conservation (1995), the icon with its frame had a uniform deep brown tone due to the darkened varnish (Fig. 98). Indeed, as noted in the Introduction, its general state of preservation belied its common fortune with the two other early icons by Theotokopoulos, in the Benaki Museum — Saint Luke the Evangelist and the Adoration of the Magi —, which came from Zakynthos and were conserved by Demetrios Pelekasis.2
The icon was already in this state when Emilios Velimezis submitted his typewritten declaration of ownership to the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in 1938, as is apparent from the photographs taken at the time by Emil Saraf. Preserved in the Emilios Velimezis archive (Figs 1, 94), these are four sepia prints (12 x 17 cm) and six large-format negative plates of the same dimensions. On careful scrutiny of one of these photographs (Figs 94, 100), a long inscription in capital letters can be made out at the very bottom of the scene, below Christ’s feet, following the curve of the elliptical border. The letters ΔΟMHN/IKOY] ΘEOT[OK]OΠουΛ[ or λ]ου XEIP. can be discerned. The ligatures of ου, in small letters, are placed above the capital Π and beside the letter Λ, which is not clearly legible and could be cither capital or cursive.
The capitals in the inscription are of the same type as in other early icons by Domenikos Theotokopoulos. As Manolis Chatzidakis has noted, the painter imitated these from printed books with a certain unsteadiness in the writing. There is corresponding uniformity in the letters of even height and the abbreviation of MH is the same as that used in the icons of Saint Luke, the Adoration of the Magi and the Modena triptych (XEIP ΔOMHNI/KOY).3 The lettering of the surname is similar to that encountered in the Dormition of the Virgin, in Syros (ΘEOTOKOΠOYΛOC), while that of the cursive abbreviations of ου is similar to the script of his surname in the Expulsion of the Merchants from the Temple, in the National Gallery Washington, with the signature ΔOMHNIKOC ΘEOTOKOΠουΛOC KPHC. 4
There is also correspondence with these inscriptions in the use of the Byzantine formula for the signature: χείρ + name in the genitive (hand of …)5 except that here the word χείρ is placed after the painter’s surname. This reversed type of signature is also an innovation in comparison with those signatures of Theotokopoulos known to date. Nevertheless, the type is consistent with the formulae used by other Cretan painters at that time. The painter Georgios Klontzas signs Γεωργίου χείρ Κλόντζα ταδ’ ἐγεγράφη… on the Patmos triptych and Michael Damaskenos signs Δαμασκηνοῦ Μιχαήλ χείρ in the icons of the Baptism and Saints Peter and Paul, in the church of Saint George of the Greeks in Venice.6
As mentioned in the Introduction, at the time our icon appeared on the antiques market no icon bearing the surname of Theotokopoulos was known nor had any studies on the type of his signatures been made. It is, therefore, quite impossible that some forger of the pre-War period would have invented such a signature. The signature is no longer visible to the naked eye, but traces of the letters can be discerned in infrared and ultraviolet photographs taken before the recent conservation in 1995 (Figs 97, 98).
The icon’s technique and some traits of its iconography reveal its attachment to Cretan painting and its particular relationship to the earliest known icons by Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Saint Luke the Evangelist and the Adoration of the Magi, in the Benaki Museum, as well as the Dormition of the Virgin, in Syros.7
1. The gold ground stuck to the thin layer of gesso with reddish bole, a technical trait of icons, is used in the icons of Saint Luke (Fig. 6) and the Syros Dormition (Fig. 184).
2. The incised preliminary design used in a large number of icons by Cretan painters was used by Theotokopoulos in part of the icon of Evangelist Luke with the representation of the icon of the Virgin. The artist keeps to this design, varying only certain details, as is the case in the Adoration of the Magi (Fig. 15), the Syros Dormition, and Evangelist Luke, in which there is a preliminary design in wash. The dynamism of the freehand incision recalls a later ink drawing by the artist, in the Jovellanos de Gizon Institute, Spain,8 with the apostles from the Prayer in Gethsemane, in a rendering quite close to the Byzantine iconography of the subject.
3. The dimensions of the panel (68.7 x 45 cm with the frame) are remarkably similar to those of the Syros Dormition (61.4 x 45 cm) and to several other icons, such as the Dormition of the Virgin (Cat. no. 54, 69 x 45.8 x 2.5 cm). Its width is the same as the Adoration of the Magi, in the Benaki Museum (45 cm). These similarities do not seem to be fortuitous and are probably due to the painter’s preference for works of this size when he was still in Crete, where several icons had one side of more or less the same length (about 45 cm), as for example Cat. nos 1, 19, 34, 41, and others in the Velimezis Collection. Moreover the comparable dimensions of our icon of the Passion and that of the Syros Dormition reinforce this hypothesis.9
4. Another trait common to the icon of the Passion and other early icons by Theotokopoulos is the preference for the warm reddish tone, which shades gradually to a lambent orangey rose. It recalls the tone of the mandorla in which the monochrome angels appear in the Syros Dormition, and even the corresponding tones in the central complex of the Virgin and Child in the Adoration of the Magi in the Benaki Museum, as well as in the angel from the icon of Evangelist Luke (Figs 14, 6, 9 respectively). Furthermore, the colours used in the icon of the Passion are consistent with those in Cretan icons with various shades of red, white and deep blue on the gold ground.
In addition to these technical similarities to Theotokopoulos’s early works our icon displays a significant iconographic similarity. The left angel with bared leg to the fore (Fig. 107) is rendered after an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi (Fig. 110), which, as Fatourou-Hesychakis has already pointed out, was used by Theotokopoulos for the candlestick with female figures, in front of the Virgin’s bier in the Syros Dormition (Fig. 184), as well as in the Modena triptych (Fig. 108).10 Correspondence is also noted in the long chiton girdled tightly high on the waist, as well as in the flowing drapery. This type of angel with bared thigh was apparently diffused in other early sixteenth-century Italian engravings and used by other Cretan painters in a Byzantine-type version, as seen in an icon of the Holy Communion, in Corfu, which is ascribed to Michael Damaskenos and which constituted the model for a series of analogous representations on Corfiote iconostases in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,11 and further, in two seventeenth-century icons of Saint Luke painting the icon of the Virgin, in the Zakynthos Museum, as well as on woodcarved iconostases and icon frames in Zakynthos.12
Lastly, the recourse to some classicizing models, well known as topoi (reference points) in Byzantine iconographic tradition, should not be overlooked. A similar arrangement of the three angels, a symbolic allusion to the Holy Trinity, is encountered in the scene of the Hospitality of Abraham (Old Testament Trinity), while an even greater resemblance can be ascertained to the angel in the scene of the Three Maries at the Tomb, as known from codex 587 in the Dionysiou Monastery (11th century) and the wall-paintings at Mileševa (1235) (Figs 111, 112), as well as from the wall-paintings in Hagios Georgios at Apostoloi Pediados, a splendid example of Palaeologan painting in Crete, in which there is a similar contrapposto of the head of the angel gazing upwards and a corresponding rendering of his outspread wing.13
So it emerges from the foregoing remarks that the icon of the Passion is linked with the icons of Theotokopoulos’s Cretan period in many ways: in technique, size and coloration. However, it differs radically from these in the treatment of the paint. It moves away from the Byzantine technique with the dark foundation and the tiny white highlights, as well as from the schematic rendering of the drapery observed on figures in the Syros Dormition and the icon of Saint Luke. It is equally distant from the Italicizing rendering with the smooth modelling of the flesh and the soft fall of the draperies in the Adoration of the Magi, in the Benaki Museum. So the work is detached dynamically from both the Byzantine and the Italian tradition of sixteenth-century painting.
The pigments in the icon of the Passion are thick and lavishly worked with deft, dense brushstrokes (impasto). Different colour tones are mixed together in a unique manner. The white winding sheet takes on greyish blue hues, from which violet reflections emerge. The colours on the angels’ garments and wings give the impression of combining countless shades of red, from deep brick and bright red to palest rose and rose-violet. Christ’s body is modelled in cold grey-blues and deep copper-green tones intermingled with brushstrokes of light brown, while the flesh on his face has a deathly pallor. In contrast, the angels’ flesh emits a warm vitality, modelled in translucent roseate white hues and deeper brownish red to light brown on the face of the angel left.
The treatment of colour in the icon of the Passion reveals that this is a work in another class, with a different, unique style. The fluid rendering of the vibrating human body, without distinct outline, is also a fundamental trait of the great art of Domenikos Theotokopoulos. The dead Christ with the muscular torso and sturdy limbs recalls an analogous depiction of Christ in the Pieta in the Johnson Collection (Fig. 118).14 Our icon is connected with this work in numerous ways. The lifeless Christ at the centre is supported and surrounded by three figures, as in the icon of the Passion. His body is in a corresponding pose, collapsing with the legs bent behind, and the face is in profile. The Virgin appears behind Christ at the centre, like the angel at the centre in the Passion, her upturned head gazing heavenwards. So it is deduced that this small work (21 x 20 cm), which is assigned to the painter’s Roman period, constitutes a more mature version of the theme that Theotokopoulos first painted in the icon of the Passion of Christ.
A full development of the Cretan painter’s early artistic vision is encountered in the High-Altar of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo (1577),15 where the Holy Trinity is depicted in the upper part (Fig. 119). There is correspondence in the composition, with God supporting the deceased Christ at the centre, flanked by angels, and in Christ’s pose with the legs bent at the knees and crossed behind. An additional correspondence is observed in the rendering of Christ’s right hand which twists backwards at the wrist. Further similarities should be noted in the ecstatic faces of the angels and the face of God who gazes downwards, like the left angel in our icon.
The striking affinities in the three works by the Cretan painter reveal the successive treatment of the same theme in different periods. Indeed so strong are the relations between these three works that we venture to suggest that the icon of the Passion constitutes the first stage in the treatment of a great artistic vision, which Theotokopoulos executed on a grand scale in the receptive milieu of Toledo.
The stylistic similarities can in fact be extended to a series of other works by Domenikos Theotokopoulos from his Roman period. There is an analogous rendering of the dead Christ’s flesh and limbs in the Crucifixion in the Marafion Collection and that in the recent exhibition at Christie’s (Fig. 17). The drapery on the angel’s chiton in the Annunciation in the Prado,16 is comparable to the winding sheet surrounding Christ’s body in the icon of the Passion (Figs 113-114), which falls in broad, irregular, perpendicular folds. Primarily, however, the countenances of the angels in the icon of the Passion, imbued with a warm radiance and expressing different emotional states (Figs 102-106), herald those that recur constantly in the great master’s work in Spain, and indeed in some of his most powerful compositions. Not only in the first work he painted in Toledo, the Holy Trinity for the High-Altar in Santo Domingo el Antiguo (1577), but also in later ones, such as the Virgin with Saints Martina and Agnes, Mary Magdalene, Saint Veronica, the Burial of Count Orgaz and the woodcarving of the Miracle of Saint Idelfonso.17
Lastly, the compositional axes of the icon of the Passion (Fig. 115), with the symmetrical articulation along intersecting diagonals arising from a point off-centre and low down, creating a lozenge shape at the centre, corresponds with the canvas Theotokopoulos used in the Johnson Pietà (Fig. 116), and in its exact copy on a larger scale, now in the Hispanic Society of America, as well as in some of his most mature and accomplished works in Spain, such as the Virgin with Saints Martina and Agnes, and Saint Martin in the National Gallery, Washington, in which Marinelli distinguishes ‘il giocco rhomboidale delle stesse diagonali’.18 Also discernible in these works, and in our icon, is the grid of two parallel horizontal and vertical axes forming a narrow, upright parallelogram in the middle. In addition the same low, off-centre point and diagonal axes are noted in the Crucifixion in the Prado.19
The profound knowledge of the canons of perspective in the icon of the Passion indicates that Domenikos Theotokopoulos was trained in an environment that espoused the Italian painters’ approaches to the problem and that he had formulated his own personal solutions to it. These inquiries were not in fact unknown to Cretan painters in the first half of the sixteenth century, as I pointed out in my study on the icon of the Adoration of the Magi (Ioannis Permeniatis, before 1523), in which devices proposed in Alberti’s treatise were used, as well as perspective grids analogous to those applied by Paolo Ucello.20 This knowledge of perspective in the icon of the Passion should be linked with Theotokopoulos’s early interest in applied architecture, which is expressed for the first time in this icon’s frame. as we shall see below.
All the foregoing observations show clearly that the icon of the Passion marks the birth of the great painter’s personal style, the style that led him to cast off established conventions and presages his maturity far beyond the familiar routes of Byzantine and Italian painting. At the same time it is the kernel that nurtured some of the culminant creations he was to produce ten years hence, in the land where the 37-year-old Cretan found hospitality and recognition. For these reasons I believe that the icon of the Passion is his first small masterpiece.

Remarks on the iconography
The icon presents an independent subject that epitomizes the Passion of Christ, as in the Man of Sorrows of Orthodox iconography; in Italian painting it is frequently called Pieta with angels and considered a scene for private devotions, an ‘Andachtsbild’.21 The theme is known in Western art from the fourteenth century, Donatello’s relief in the church of Saint Anthony (Santo) in Padua being an outstanding example.22 It was particularly popular in German art where the central subject — a frontal angel with outspread wings holding the dead Christ — is encountered in fifteenth-century woodcuts (Fig. 120) and paintings, such as the work by Peter Hopfer (1460-1470).23 It is also widely known in fifteenth-century Venetian painting, with small angels as putti and the dead Christ, half-length, emerging from a sarcophagus, his arms in a similar position to that in our icon of the Passion; the Pietàs by Giovanni Bellini in London, in the San Vincenzo Ferreri polyptych in Venice, and in Rimini.24 as well as Antonello da Messina’s Pietà in Madrid, in which the twist of Christ’s right hand at the wrist is observed.25 Even greater similitude is noted in a drawing of Giovanni Bellini’s Pieta in the Rennes Museum,26 in which Christ is portrayed in the Virgin’s embrace, full-bodied in front of the sarcophagus, the body upright and the legs bent at the knees and crossed behind, exactly as in our icon.
The similarities between the icon of the Passion and the Holy Trinity in Toledo (Figs 117, 119), noted above, bespeak the use of a common model, such as Durer’s engraving of 1511 (Fig. 121), which Cossio had indicated in 1909 as the model of this scence.27 There are obvious correspondences in Christ’s pose. in the way in which he is held by God-the Father and flanked by the angels. Even the faces of the angels resemble those of the central and the right angel in the icon of the Passion, while the figure of God in Diirer’s engraving is surprisingly like the figure of the left angel in our icon (Fig. 102). The similarities with Durer’s work also extend to another engraving, of 1506, in which two angels with corresponding poses and facial expressions hold the Holy Mandylion.28 Lastly, in Durer’s series of engravings of Adam and Eve there is correspondence with the figure of the lifeless Christ in the rendering of the head in profile, in the pose and gesture of Eve or of Adam too, figures that had in any case been used as a model for the same theme in the Modena triptych.29 Even more closely related is the figure of the dead Christ in profile, as depicted in an engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi in the Albertina, Vienna (Fig. 123), in which he is in horizontal pose in the scene of the Virgin’s Lamentation.30
The iconographic affinity of our icon with engravings by Diirer and Marcantonio Raimondi has already been noted. However, the closest iconographic precedent for the icon of the Passion occurs in an engraving by Agostino Veneto, of 1516, after a lost painting by Andrea del’ Sarto (Fig. 122).31 The angel with outspread wings at the centre holds in his bare arms Christ’s lifeless body in a winding sheet, in exactly the same way. Christ’s legs are crossed and bent, and his hands are in a similar pose to our icon, while the incline of the head is reversed. This engraving is the only one, as far as I know, in which the central subject of the dead Christ held by the angel is flanked left by an angelic figure, as in the icon of the Passion. Angels with corresponding expression, pose and attire are portrayed in two other engravings by Agostino Veneto, in which the Virgin (Fig. 109)32 is flanked by two angels in analogous garb, with the bare leg projecting beneath the chiton, after Raimondi’s model (Fig. 110), as in the left angel in the icon of the Passion. The above similarities to the works by Diirer, Agostino Veneto and Marcantonio Raimondi can be added to others, which are easily recognized, such as
Michelangelo’s Piet for Vittoria Colonna, a subject widely diffused in engravings from the mid-sixteenth century and which was also the model for the Pieta in the Johnson Collection.33
The dates of circulation of the engravings by Diirer, Marcantonio Raimondi and Agostino Veneto, as well as of the engravings of the Pieta for Vittoria Colonna, permit the hypothesis that Theotokopoulos was acquainted with these models while he was still in Crete; the influence of Michelangelo on another of Theotokopoulos’s Cretan works, the icon of the Dormition, in Syros, has already been noted by Fatourou-Hesychakis.34 The striking similarity of the figure of the dead Christ, and especially the rendering of his right hand, with the drawing by Michelangelo in the Albertina (Figs 124, 125), which is associated with the Pieta in the National Gallery, London,35 reinforces the relationship of the icon of the Passion to the great Italian artist’s work. There is an analogous arrangement of the figures around Christ in the National Gallery painting and a corresponding projection of the bare leg beneath John’s chiton on the left. The examination of the frame of the icon of the Passion below brings new evidence to bear on the role of Michelangelo’s work in forming the Cretan painter’s personality as an artist.36 As we have seen, the model for the scene in the icon of the Passion was created on the basis of the early sixteenth-century engravings by Marcantonio Raimond, Agostino Veneto and Diirer. However, the central theme of Christ supported by the angel is repeated in a small, relief terracotta plaque attributed to the Flemish painter Bartholomeus Spranger (Antwerp 1546 – Prague 1611) and dated around 1585, and in mirror image in an engraving by Hendrik Goltzius (1587) (Fig. 128) after a drawing sent by Spranger from Prague.37
The same type and rendering of the dead Christ as in Goltzius’s engraving features in at least two works by Giulio Clovio, the Pieta drawing in the Louvre and the Pieta copied in an engraving by Cornelis Cort in 1566 (Fig. 127).38 The head is in the very same type of profile, the pose of the naked body with the hands falling loosely downwards is exactly similar and there is a corresponding twist of the palm of one hand and support for the wrist of the other. This model is also encountered in earlier works, such as Schiavone’s engravings and paintings, which were models for the scene of the Entombment in other works by Domenikos Theotokopoulos, such as the small Entombment in the Stanley Moss Collection,39 in the Niarchos Collection and elsewhere.40
The notable iconographic similarities to works by Giulio Clovio, Theotokopoulos’s patron in Rome, as well as the simultaneous presence in the Eternal City of the two painters, Spranger (1566-1575)41 and Theotokopoulos (1570-15727), both protegées of the same eminent Croatian painter and miniaturist Giulio Clovio, under the aegis of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, suggest that Spranger drew his theme from this artistic milieu. The possibility that the two painters actually met is strengthened by a further coincidence: it is well known that during his sojourn in Rome Spranger copied several of Giulio Clovio’s paintings,42 while in late 1569 and 1570 he undertook major works in the Villa Caprarola, where Domenikos Theotokopoulos most probably worked as an assistant in the very same period, early in 1570.43 So it is not impossible that the successful, official painter of the Pope adopted a subject brought by the young Cretan painter Theotokopoulos, the ‘pittore a carta’ of the painters’ guild in Rome, who was then limited to painting small surfaces, awaiting recognition and commissions for large projects.44 Certainly the iconographic affinities between the works of Giulio Clovio, Spranger and Domenikos Theotokopoulos point to the common ground of their iconographic preferences.
It is clear from the remarks on technique and iconography that the icon of the Passion was painted in Crete prior to Theotokopoulos’s departure from his native isle in 1567/68, whereas Giulio Clovio’s model had circulated in an engraving in 1566. Thus it is possible that while he was still resident on Crete, Theotokopoulos was acquainted not only with the engravings by Agostino Veneto (1516), Durer
(1506, 1522) and Michelangelo (Pieta for Vittoria Colonna), but also that of Cornelis Cort (1566). Moreover, the possibility that Theotokopoulos made interim visits to Italy, before his final move from Crete in 1567/68, cannot be precluded. This hypothesis, also proposed by Panayotakis,45 is supported by the wide range of ‘Roman’ influences in the icon of the Passion.

The frame

The icon is painted on a large rectangular panel which forms an integral frame in the shape of a tabernacle, crowned by a broken-arched pediment (Figs 1, 93, 132). Smaller, carved fillets have been attached to the panel to form a kind of relief porch, comprising two engaged columns set on a small. separate pedestal.,while an analogous pedestal — oblique rectangular — with parapet is placed below the larger, central part of the icon. A horizontal cornice with mouldings of differing depth crowns the engaged columns and upholds a broken arched pediment decorated with mouldings. The entire frame is gilded, but the engaged columns are decorated with a white stem with flowers on a reddish ground, while a gold stem motif is projected upon a deep blue ground low down on the central parapet. Analogous painted ornaments are encountered on early fifteenth-century Italian frames and in prints of Renaissance character, such as an example printed by Soncino 1507.46
The type of frame in the shape of a tabernacle with broken pediment, usually of triangular shape, is diffused in Italian art from the early sixteenth century.47 However, the broken-arched pediment constitutes an innovation of our frame since, as far as I know, there are no other icons with a frame of this shape in either Cretan or Italian art of this period.48 Michelangelo established the broken-arched pediment in the sepulchral monument of the Medici in Florence and his design for the Porta Pia (1561-1564), while Vignola used it later in the Villa Farnese in Rome (1570).49 The form of the broken-arched frame of our icon is encountered in engravings and drawings from the early sixteenth century. Noteworthy is the use of such a frame in a drawing by Agostino Veneto and in a
design by Vasari (1511-1574) for an altar, around 1550 (Fig. 130),50 which is remarkably like our icon. It is encountered in a more complex form in engravings of the Pieta for Vittoria Colonna, which, as mentioned above, circulated widely in the middle of the century,51 while analogous broken arches adorn more composite frames of sansovino type in a series of small paxes of the middle of the century, which also copy the same subject.52
However, the shape of the frame of our icon is connected most closely of all with the altars that Theotokopoulos designed in Toledo, for Santo Domingo el Antiguo, when he undertook his first major commission in 1577, and later for the Hospital of Saint John Tavera (Figs 129, 130).53 Its arrangement is analogous, with lateral columns on pedestals, cornices with successive mouldings, and the characteristic broken arch, as are the proportions of the parts, which are based on the treatises of the great architects whom Theotokopoulos evidently admired — judging from the volumes recorded in his library — Vitruvius, Sebastiano Serlio, Palladio and Vignola, who, as other scholars have noted, influenced his designs for the above altars.54 These similarities indicate that the icon of the Passion offers not only the nucleus of the composition but also the modello of the architectural frame that Theotokopoulos designed several years later, in 1577, for the High-Altar of Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo. So it is deduced that the icon of the Passion is the first known work in which Theotokopoulos, like the other great artists Bellini and Dürer,55 designed the frame of the icon he was commissioned to paint; the result is bold, original and inventive.
The possibility that the frame of the icon of the Passion was designed in Crete gains credence from the fact that portal surrounds and wall fountains of comparable form exist there, as at Rousospiti and in the Attali Monastery at Bali,56 with broken-triangular pediment. They are also found in Zakynthos, where the broken-arehed pediment enjoyed wide distribution in secular and ecclesiastical architecture during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as in Hagios Loukas or in the Hypapanti church at Machairado (Fig. 133).57 The use of Sebastiano Serlio’s designs in Crete from the late sixteenth century has already been pointed out in the studies by Kando Fatourou-Hesychakis and Jordanis Dimakopoulos,58 while elements of the architecture of Sebastiano Serlio, as well as of Vignola, and indeed from the church of Gest, have been located in seventeenth-century churches on Zakynthos.59 The widespread use of these models in monuments in Crete and Zakynthos confirms their currency, in all probability before the arrival of Cretan refugees in Zakynthos. It also allows us to consider Domenikos Theotokopoulos as a pioneer in introducing the new orders to his homeland. Moreover, from the publication dates of the relevant architectural books catalogued in his library in Spain, it can be assumed that he was aware of these works — and possiby owned them — at the time he was living in Crete.60 Lastly, the similarities of the frame of the icon of the Passion to the drawings by Agostino Veneto and Vasari, in conjunction with the corresponding iconographic similarities to the engravings by Agostino Veneto for rendering the subject of the Pieta with angels, indicate clearly not only the time frame but also the artistic milieu in which Domenikos Theotokopoulos obtained his models in Crete.
The integral wooden frame with the oval form enclosing the representation in the icon of the Passion is an innovation encountered in only a few Cretan works, such as icon Cat. no. 72 (Fig. 270). Both features occur in the frame of the Holy Mandylion from the High-Altar of Santo Domingo el Antiguo (Fig. 130), which too was designed by Theotokopoulos, as relevant studies, that also note the Byzantine-Cretan origin of the subject, have demonstrated.61 The oval tondo, though not unknown in Italian art (mainly in portraits in printed books of the mid-sixteenth century, such as the volume by Paulus Jovius), is known in very few examples of Cretan icons with Italian influences, such as an icon of the Dormition, within a finely wrought Renaissance frame of the second half of the sixteenth century, in the Greek Institute in Venice, and in eighteenth-century icons from the Ionian Islands, such as the Descent from the Cross Cat. no. 49 (Fig. 234).62
This brief quest for the models for the frame of the icon of the Passion leads to the conclusion that while he was still in Crete Theotokopoulos created a work that is consummately original, for both its time and place.

‘Un quadro della Passione … dorato’

The icon with its frame heralds the art of Theotokopoulos’s maturity, while its technique permits its assignment to the Cretan period of his life. The last known work of this period is the as yet unidentified icon mentioned in the document of 26 December 1566 from the Venetian archive of the Duke of Crete, discovered and published by Maria Constantoudaki in 1976.63 According to the document ‘maistro Domenego Theotocopoulo depentor’ offered for auction ‘un quadro della Passione del Nostro Signor Giesu Christo, dorato’, for the high price of seventy ducats. All the information given has been analysed in detail in Constantoudaki’s invaluable publication and Nikos Panayotakis’s exhaustive study (1986). Both scholars agree that this was most probably an icon with frame, painted on a gold ground,64 and Panayotakis further suggests that the work was not a large one.65 The identity of the icon’s subject has also been discussed. It was initially presumed that the scene depicted the Crucifixion,66 but later proposals converged on the Man of Sorrows67 and most probably in an Italo-Cretan style.
All the characteristic traits of our icon permit its identification with the icon mentioned in the document. The type of our icon with woodcarved frame is appropriate to the name ‘quadro’, a term frequently used in contemporary Italian documents to denote by synecdoche the icon together with its frame.68 The gilding of both the ground and the carved wooden frame merits the description ‘quadro dorato’. Lastly, the suggestion that the subject is the Man of Sorrows is confirmed by that of our icon, a symbolic scene of Christ’s Passion from Western iconography, equivalent to the Orthodox theme of the Man of Sorrows, which is encountered in a series of Italo-Cretan icons.69 In my opinion the use of the wider term ‘Passione del Nostro Signor Giesu Christo’ reflects the author of the document’s difficulty in naming a subject that was then unusual in both Orthodox iconography and Italo-Cretan icons. Lastly, our icon with its gold ground and gilded frame, and the unique quality of the painter’s innovative art, could have commanded a price far in excess of that of other painted works in Candia, as was the case with the icon in the document.70 This suggestion is enhanced by the painter’s reputation in Candia at that time; Panayotakis notes that he was ‘one of the most famous, perhaps the most famous, of the many painters in Crete, a mature artist who set off with the ambition of conquering Italy and Europe’.71 The significance of our icon’s style should be added to these arguments, for it represents a landmark in the development of the Cretan painter’s personal style, which can be associated indirectly with his departure in 1567/68. Here, for the first time, Domenikos Theotokopoulos breaks loose from the traditions of both Byzantine and Italian painting, and embarks on the quest for a milieu in which he can realize his artistic visions.
It is safe to say that the purchaser of the icon of the Passion, when it was auctioned in Candia in 1566, was a highly cultured individual, extremely sensitive to the timbre of great art and furthermore very affluent. The Western subject of the work suggests that he was a Catholic or someone inclined towards Western dogmas. There was indeed a circle of prosperous burghers, educated connoisseurs, in Crete at that time, who assembled in the first Academy of Vivi in Rethymnon,72 and the purchaser of the icon of the Passion may well have belonged to this or an analogous circle. His name remains unknown. Antonios Kallergis (1521-1555), the bibliophile, collector of paintings and icons, who had been taught Greek and Latin by the Dominican friar Desiderio dal Legname, was no longer alive at that time.73 However, his brother Matthaios, the powerful nobleman who was assassinated for political reasons in 1572, was still active.74 The possible connection of Theotokopoulos with the Kallergis family has been shown by the recent comparative studies of the titles of books recorded in the two libraries, of Antonios Kallergis in Crete and of Domenikos Theotokopoulos in Spain.75 These hypotheses are strengthened by the examination of the icon’s fortune, discussed below.
The central subject of the icon of the Passion is unknown in Cretan icons, as far as I know. On the contrary, it is encountered in a large number of works in the local art of Zakynthos, in the lonian Islands, from the eighteenth century, and indeed on the Royal Door of churches, flanked, as in Theotokopoulos’s icon, by angels on the lateral bema doors. The subject was introduced by Nikolaos Kallergis in the church of the Panagia tou Tsouroufli (1732) (Fig. 135), which is the earliest known example of this iconography.76 The theme is also encountered on the Royal Door in other eighteenth-century churches, such as Hagios Charalambos sto Potami (1743), most probably a work by Nikolaos Kallergis, the Panagia Langadiotissa at Ano Gerakario and Hagia Marina in the village of Faya,77 as well as in another six churches on Zakynthos which are recorded in the old Report by Adamantiou (1908), mentioned in the Introduction: Hagios Spyridon Flambouriaris, Hagios Konstantinos at Kipoi, Hagia Aikaterini Grypari, Zoodochos Pegi, Estavromenos and the Hagioi Tessarakonta.78 Two possibly nineteenth-century works in the Zakynthos Museum storerooms are identified with some of the icons in Adamantiou’s Report.79 In the surviving representations the similarity to the central theme of the icon of the Passion even extends to the expression of the upward-gazing angel. Analogous similarity with the left angel in the icon is noted on the bema door of the diakonikon in the church of the Kyria ton Angelon (Fig. 136),80 a late eighteenth-century work in which the angel, turned leftwards, appears with the bare thigh projecting from the folds of his chiton; even his face has a similar expression, as he looks downwards with his eyes almost closed. As far as I know the subject was not diffused in the other Ionian Islands; it is encountered very rarely on Lefkada, as in the bema door in the church of Hagios Spyridon (circa 1748), which is ascribed to Tomazo Tzen, a Cretan painter who had previously lived on Zakynthos.81 The establishment and dissemination of the subject in so many churches on Zakynthos leads to the conclusion that this is a local tradition peculiar to the island. This tradition could be associated with the presence there of Theotokopoulos’s icon of the Passion and the appeal it held among the the island’s painters.
Frantzeskos Kallergis, father of Nikolaos and scion of the famous Cretan family, is known to have fled to Zakynthos after the Turks captured Rethymnon in 1645: this is mentioned by Marinos Tzanes Bounialis in his narrative poem ‘The Cretan War’.82 The fact that it was Nikolaos Kallergis (1669-1747) who introduced this iconography in Zakynthos and that his method of working involved the copying of earlier Cretan icons — like his father Frantzeskos —,83 permits the hypothesis that the icon of the Passion was in his family’s possession while they were still in Crete. This view is reinforced not only by the social and economic status of Frantzeskos Kallergis, who was a priest, referendarios of Zakynthos and founder of the family church of Hagia Anna (1701), but also by the fact that he owned a substantial library, as did one of the most illustrious members of the Kallergis family in Crete, Antonios Kallergis.84 It can be supposed that together with the books Frantzeskos brought with him when he left Rethymnon in 1645, he would also have brought important icons in his possession; this was certainly the case with other Cretan refugees who brought very important Cretan icons to Zakynthos, such as the priest and icon-painter Michael Agapitos.85 Lastly. it should be noted that the name Frangiskos (Frantzeskos) existed in the Kallergis family, since this was the name of Antonios’s elder brother, who died young (1517-1537).86
The hypothesis that Nikolaos Kallergis’s family brought the icon of the Passion from Crete to Zakynthos is further supported by the conclusions drawn from the study of the icon of the Annunciation (Cat. no. 48); there is compelling circumstantial evidence that another work by Domenikos Theotokopoulos, the Annunciation as on the Modena triptych, was in the hands of Nikolaos Kallergis. Lastly, the striking similarity between the angel holding the Holy Mandylion, on the bema door of the diakonikon from the church of the Pantokrator (Fig. 17) 87 a work by the same painter, and the Saint Veronica holding the Holy Mandylion, as rendered in a series of works by Theotokopoulos in his Spanish period (Fig. 19),88 perhaps adds another work by the great Cretan painter to those owned by this minor-painter and admirer in Zakynthos.
The figure of the dead Christ upheld by the angel in the icon of the Passion is echoed with minor variations in other works by Zakynthian painters ‘of liberal art’, in the late eighteenth and the nineteenth century, such as the Lamentation by Nikolaos Koutouzis, from the church of the Analepsis (Fig. 137) and the Descent from the Cross, from the church of Hagios Andreas tou Avouri (1825) by Nikolaos Kantounis.89 It is also encountered in the Prayer on the Mount of Olives, from the church of the Akathistos, and in the figure of Mary Cleophas in the Zakynthos Museum.90
The icon of the Passion constitutes a landmark in the artistic development of Domenikos Theotokopoulos. It offers new evidence on the formation of his creative personality in Crete and provokes a reassessment of his life and oeuvre. Its study has shown that the time-frame for the influences he received from Italian art while still in Crete should be widened impressively, while his rare talent, which has already spread its wings, shines forth with magnificent vitality in this early work.

PROVENANCE Crete-Zakynthos. It was purchased by the collector as an authentic work by Domenikos Theotokopoulos probably between 1934 and 1938. For the provenance of the icon and the history of its acquisition see Foreword 31, Introduction 43ff., Cat. no. 71 and Appendix I.

CONDITION Conserved sometime before 1946, by Demetrios Pelekasis. Cf. Introduction, 51 and Cat. no. 71. See also Appendix III.

BIBLIOGRAPHY Unpublished. The icon was not included in Manolis Chatzidakis’s catalogue (1943-1945) (see Introduction 31-33). It had been declared to the Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in 1938. but had never been considered an authentic creation by Domenikos Theotokopoulos (see Manolis Chatzidakis’s testimony, p. 22). First communication by the author of the present Catalogue, «Γνωστό – άγνωστο έργο κρητικού ζωγράφου», (Known-unknown work by a Cretan painter), presented at the VIIIth International Congress of Cretan Studies, Herakleion, Crete, September 1996 (unpublished).


The presence of the icon of the Passion imposes re-examination of the contribution of the Cretan period to the formation of Domenikos Theotokopoulos’s personality as an artist, These problems will be examined in detail in the monograph | am preparing, to be published by the Benaki Museum.

1. Eg. see Cat. nos 2, 16, 27 and below p. 198, n. 7. On the condition of the icons in the Collection see Introduction, 41-42, 57.
2. Cf. Introduction, 41-42, 51.
3. Cf. Chatzidakis (1964) 1990, 149-151, n.1, where Wethey’s views are refuted, figs 46, 48, 47. On the icons see n. 7.
4. Washington, National Gallery. Wethey 1962, II, 68, no. 104, figs 3 and 386. Chatzidakis (1964) 1990, 152.
5. Chatzidakis (1964) 1990, 149-153.
6. Chatzidakis (1964) 1990, 149-153; the painter Euphrosynos signs γραφέως θύτου τεῦξεν χείρ… in 1542. Chatzidakis 1987, 241.
7. a) Evangelist Luke, dimensions 41 x 33 cm XEIP ΔOMΗNI/KOY. 1560-1567. Benaki Museum. Repainted and conserved by Demetrios Pelekasis before 1935. New cleaning by Ph. Zachariou in April 1959 ‘the paste was removed and the linen remained’ (Museum index card). Linen.
Gold on ground. Free preliminary design and incision on the icon of the Virgin (Chatzidakis 1956, 4-5; N. Chatzidakis 1983, no. 49; see also Introduction, n. 50; El Greco of Crete 1990, 146-149, 331-333 no. 2 (M. Constantoudaki-Kitromilides) with previous bibliography). Stasinopoulos 1988, 17-18, figs 1-5.
b) Adoration of the Magi, dimensions 40 x 45 cm. ΧEIP ΔOMHNIKOY. 1560-1570. Benaki Museum. “The work has been painted on a piece of wood in secondary use, part of a door or an old chest’. Free preliminary drawing, without incision (Mayer 1935, 205-207; see also Introduction, n. 55; El Greco of Crete 1990, 150-154, 334-337 no. 3 (M. Constantoudaki-Kitromilides) with previous bibliography). Stasinopoulos 1988, 17-18, figs 1-5.
c) Dormition of the Virgin, in Syros. 61.4 x 45 em. ΔOMHNIKOΣ ΘEOTOKOΠOYΛOΣ O ΔEIΞAΣ. Pre-1567. Gold ground, linen, preliminary drawing in a free hand. The icon was discovered by G. Mastoropoulos in 1983. It was conserved by Stavros Baltoyannis (Mastoropoulos 1983, 53; Exhibition for the Centenary of the ChAE 1984, no. 21 (M. Chatzidakis); El Greco of Crete 1990, 142-145, 329-330, no. | (M. Acheimastou-Potamianou); see St. Baltoyannis, unpublished paper presented at the 1st Conference of Greek Conservators, November 1988; Acheimastou-Potamianou 1995, 29ff., figs 5-9. 17). On the Dormition in Syros see also Chatzidakis 1987 and Chatzidakis 1990. On the technique of Cretan icons see recently Milanou 1993, 36-46, fig. 3. For the incised preliminary design see also the icons of the Virgin Hodegetria (Cat. no. 1), Saint Paraskevi (Cat. no. 11), Saint Demetrios (Cat. no. 27), the Transfiguration (Cat. no. 34), the Deesis by Leos (Cat. no. 35).
8. Unfortunately the drawing has been lost, Perez-Sanchez 1969, 76-77. no. 486, fig. 146. Gudiol 1990, no. 21. fig. 28.
9. For the dimensions of the above icons see n. 7, Pertinent observations on the small size of Theotokopoulos’s early icons have been made by Alexandros Xydis (Xydis 1964. 68-70 and Xydis 1995, 154).
10. Fatourou-Hesychakis 1995, 46ff., 65-66, figs 2, 3, 6, 21, 22. Constantoudaki-Kitromilides 1995, 102-103, figs 4, 5, 6. The type was also used in the Modena triptych. Fatourou-Hesychakis 1995, 65-66, figs 20, 21.
11. Cf. Vocotopoulos 1986, 149ff.. figs 1-6, 9, 20. On the icon painted in the art of Michael Damaskenos, in Corfu, see Vocotopoulos 1990, 59-61, no. 39, fig. 40.
12. Personal observations. Both icons are in the Zakynthos Museum; the first has been published, see Konomos 1964. fig. on p. 61, the second is unpublished. See also an early l6th-century example, Constantoudaki 1974, pl. AB’.
13. For the Hospitality see e.g. a 16th-century icon in a private collection, Th. Chatzidakis 1982, no. 26. For the scene of the Two Maries at the Tomb see Treasures of Mount Athos, I, 1973, fig. 274 (fol. 167). Radojeié 1963, pl. IX. T thank Maria Borboudaki who studied the wall-paintings in Hagios Georgios at Apostoloi Pediados for her Master’s dissertation at the University of London, 1996, and provided me with the unpublished photograph.
14. Pietà in the John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA, dimensions 22.9 x 20 em (1570-1572), Manzini – Frati, Opera Completa 1978, no. 99a-b, 92. The same theme in the Pietà of the Hispanic Society, see Wethey 1962, nos 101, 102, figs 19, 20. For the sources of the iconography see below nn. 15 and 30.
15. For the Holy Trinity from the High Altar in Santo Domingo el Antiguo see Cossio (1908), 1984, II, figs on pp. 64, 75, 76. Wethey 1962, Cat. no. 2. fig. 50. See also El Greco of Toledo 1982, no. 7, 300-301, pl. 23, with previous bibliography; for the reconstruction of the Altar see El Greco of Toledo 1982, 150ff., figs 74-80 (Alfonso G. Perez-Sanchez); Mann 1986, 23-45. For the iconography see also above n. 14 and below n. 34. Both representations have been associated with a work by Federico Zuccaro, which also circulated in an engraving by Alberti (see recently Dillon 1995, 247, fig. 17).
16. Gudiol 1990, no. 21, fig. 28. Xydis 1995, 149, fig. 18. Ioannides 1995, 205, fig. 9. Christie’s 1997, 254-255, no. 217. The Annunciation in the Prado, El Greco in Italy, 1995, 315-321, no. 40 (J. Alvarez-Lopera) with previous bibliography; see also Cat. no. 48, nn. 9 and 32.
17. E.g. see Wethey 1962, no. 17, 12-13, fig. 115. no. 75, figs 183-184, no. 259, fig. 304, no. 123, figs 88, 89, 92, no. 86, figs 105, 355.
18. Marinelli 1995, 356, figs 18, 19. For diagonal mannerist compositions see also Wethey 1962, vol. I, 22-23. The knowledge of perspective here must be examined in connection with Theotokopoulos’s architectural interests which, as examination of the frame of the icon of the Passion has shown, were already manifest while he was still in Crete, see above 214ff. and n. 50.
19. Marinelli 1995, figs 7, 8, 18, 19, 20.
20. N. Chatzidakis 1992, 72off., drawing 1.
21. The title of the scene has not been established in Greek terminology, because it is not encountered in Orthodox iconography except on bema doors in Zakynthos during the 18th and 19th centuries. Since these are without inscription, the name given to the scene by those
who have recorded these icons varies. Sometimes it is called ‘Descent from the Cross’ and sometimes ‘Dead Christ upheld by angels’, see below n. 78. For the iconography of the subject see Panofsky 1927 and Belting 1981, 105ff.; see also Schiller 1968, vol. 2, figs 758. 759, 761, 7603-766.
22. Donatello, 1446-1447, Padua, Coffey 1987, fig. 87. Goffen 1989, 13, fig. 8. For the Pieta in Italy see Belting 1985.
23. The illustrated Bartsch, 163. 1990, 305, 306, See also Schiller 1968, 2, fig. 765 and collected examples above in n. 21, Other German works in which an angel is depicted behind Christ: 1. Work by Meister Franke, c. 1425, in Leipzig (Coffey 1987, fig. 181); 2. Triptych-Reliquary, c. 1380-1390 (Coffey 1987, fig. 92 = Belting 1985, fig. 32): 3. Reliquary from Montalto (Coffey 1987, fig. 95 = Belting 1985, fig. 33). For other examples of this art and this period, see Coffey 1987, figs 93, 94 and Panofsky 1927, 261, fig. 20 (Hans Memling, 1474) and figs 19-25.
24. There are numerous examples, such as a 15th-century work by Vitale da Bologna, in which the Virgin holds Christ by the armpits (Goffen 1989, fig. 25). The angels are frequently putti, whereas Christ is normally portrayed in front of a sarcophagus, see e.g. Goffen 1989, figs 53, 59, 60, works by Giovanni Bellini and Antonello da Messina. On the subject of the Pieta in the works by Giovanni Bellini see also Coffey 1987, in which the theme’s origin from ancient art and its connection with representations of Achilles bearing the dead body of Patrocles, on a Hellenistic vase (fig. 193), is examined. The iconographic antecedents of the scene are given, noteworthy among which are the following: Bellini, San Vincenzo Ferreri, Rimini and London (Coffey 1987, 307ff. fig. 184, 324 ff. fig. 189, 349ff. fig. 194. Ghiotto – Pignoli, Opera Completa 1969, no. 56B, pl. XIV, nos 70, 69). See also the Pieta by Antonello da Messina in the Museo Correr. Venice (Coffey 1987, fig. 191; Sciascia, Opera Completa 1967, no. 53, pl. XLII).
25. Sciascia, Opera Completa 1967, no. 49. The similarity is also noted by Trapier 1958, 8 and De Salas-Marias 1992, 39, n. 22. Michelangelo’s statue of Lorenzo dei Medici has also been considered as a model for Christ’s hand, which turns backwards in the Holy Trinity in Toledo (Cossio (1908), 1984, TI, pl. 19, 1, fig. on p. 76.1).
26. Tietze – E. Tietze-Conrat 1944, 89, no. 321 — dates c. 1480, See also an analogous Pieta in the Academia of Venice, Tietze – E. Tietze-Conrat 1944, no, 323, 89: see also Ames-Lewis 1981. 119 (ascribed to Mantegna), figs 104, 10S.
27. The Illustrated Bartsch 10, 1, 1980, 217, no. 122 (141) and 10, 2, 1981, 400-401 other examples: this engraving was reproduced in a large number of copies by later engravers too. The first comments on the models of the Holy Trinity in Santo Domingo el Antiguo being from Dürer and Michelangelo’s Pietà, were made by Cossío (Cossío (1908), 1984, vol. II, pl. 19, 1, 2. 3: see also above n. 15).
28. The Illustrated Bartsch 10, 1, 1980, 22, no. 25 (47), and 10, 2, 1981, 70-72 other examples. This engraving has been considered a model for the rendering of the subject of the Mandylion in the icon from the same Altar in Santo Domingo el Antiguo (El Greco of Toledo 1982, no. 8. 181, pl. 33, dimensions 77 x 55 cm, Madrid, private collection). The subject’s Byzantine origins, noted by Lydie Hadermann-Misguich (Hadermann-Misguich 1987, figs 10-11 and eadem 1995, 399-340), can be supported by additional examples of Cretan icons with a woodcarved frame, where the subject of the Mandylion held by angels appears on the upper part as on an iconostasis (an unpublished one in Zakynthos and others of later date, see e.g. Konomos 1977, 4, no. 4 and no. 6. Xyngopoulos 1936, no. 39, pl. 30, no. 69, pl. 48). I found Theotokopoulos’s exact model, in which angels as putti hold the Mandylion, in engravings with representations of altars by Daniel Hopfer (1470-1536) (The Illustrated Bartsch 17, 1981, 94 and 121).
29. Vassilaki 1995, 128, figs 9, 10; see also The Illustrated Bartsch 10, 1, 1980, 9, no. 1 (30) and 10, 2, 1981, 10-14; see also an engraving by a continuer of Dürer, the poses of the figures are reversed, op. cit., 10, 1, 268, nos 1, 173 and 10, 2, 442. For the influence of Dürer on Theotokopoulos’s work see Kitaura 1989, 143ff. and Xydis 1995, 141 ff.
30. The Illustrated Bartsch 26 (14), 1978, 1, 51, no. 35A (40).
31. Unfinished relief and drawings, after 1538, De Tolnay 1953, 45ff., n. 3, figs 1, 14, 15 and De Tolnay 1971, 61062, figs 340-358. In De Tolnay’s opinion Domenikos Theotokopoulos is the only artist who understood the Pieta for Vittoria Colonna in depth and was inspired not only by the synthesis but also by the spirit of Michelangelo’s work in the Pieta in the Johnson Collection (De Tolnay 1953, 61 and De Tolnay 1971, 64). See also Salas 1968, 22, nn. 19, 20. De Salas – Marìas 1992, 38, nn. 17 and 18. See also collected examples of copies in De Tolnay 1953, 45-46, n. 3. For engravings by Nicolas Beatrizet, 1547 and Giulio Bonasone, 1546 see op. cit., 45, n. 3, 59, figs 2 and 3). See also De Tolnay 1971, 63, figs 341, 342, 343. The influence of Bonasone’s engravings on Theotokopoulos’s work has already been noted (see recently El Greco in Italy, 1995, 320 – J. Alvarez-Lopera).
32. For Michelangelo’s drawings in Candia see Fatourou-Hesychakis 1995, 59, n. 32.
33. Dessins italiens de l’Albertina de Vienne 1975, 56. De Tolnay 1978, 81. That the work in London was used as the model for the Holy Trinity in Toledo was first suggested by Cossio (Cossio (1908), 1984, II, pl. 19, 2, fig. on p. 75.3).
34. For the subject see above n. 31 and Ioannides 1995, 199ff. See also the exhaustive study by Kitaura 1995, 145-164. Theotokopoulos is not the only Cretan painter to have received influences from Michelangelo’s work. At the VIII International Congress of Cretan Studies (11-9-1996) Maria Kazanaki presented the very important miniatures in the manuscript by Markos Bathas, illustrating a text by Plotinos, with multiple influences from this Italian artist (Kazanaki-Lappa 1996, 191).
35. New York, Metropolitan Muscum of Art, The Elisha Wittelsey Collection, 1949, Freedberg 1963, vol. 1, 33-34, fig. 12. This engraving is considered an influence of Dürer’s Holy Trinity and its significance for Theotokopoulos has been pointed out by Salas – Marìas 1968, 54. n. 21, see also Salas – Marìas 1992, 28, n. 21. Andrea del Sarto was interested in rendering the nude body in three-quarter pose, as apparent from the large wall-painting with the Baptism, in the Chiostro dello Salzo, Florence (Freedberg 1963, 2, 15-17, figs 12 and 70) and a drawing in Melbourne (op. ας fig. 69 and Dean 1986, 24), as well as other works by him, such as the Descent from the Cross, in Florence (Galleria Pitti, Freedberg, op. cit. no. 58, 123-128, fig. 144. See also a drawing in the Louvre, no. 1715, Freedberg 1963, 1, 67ff., fig. 14).
36. Landau and Parshall 1994, 131-133, 269, figs 130-131, in which the problem of copies of engravings is discussed. Agostino Veneto frequently copied engravings by Marcantonio Raimondi (op. cit., 131-133).
37. Formerly in Antoine Seilern’s private collection in London (dimensions 22.1 x 16.7-18.5 cm): see Reznicek 1968, I, 370-375, II, pl. CLXX. For the painter Spranger see e.g. Benezit 1976, IX, 757. Bryan’s Dictionary of Painters and Engravers 1964, V. 111. Dictionnaire de la peinture flammande et hollandaise 1989, 390-393, See also Henning 1987. For Goltzius’s engraving: dimensions 32.8 x 25.1 cm, see Strauss 1977, 2, 436-437. The Illustrated Bartsch 3, I, 1980, 240, no. 273 (83). Many prints of the engraving circulated. For Hendrik Goltzius see Hirschmann 1921. Rezniček 1961. Broeder 1972. Strauss 1977. The Illustrated Bartsch 3, 1, 1980 and 3, Il, 1982.
38. L’ oeil du Connoisseur 1992, no. 29, 67-68. The Illustrated Bartsch 52, 1986, 106 (88-I (100), see also a variation on pp. 110, 111. Like Theotokopoulos, Giulio Clovio copied works by Michelangelo, see Monbeig-Goguel 1988, 37-47. For Cornelis Cort’s (1536-1578) acquaintance with Giulio Clovio before 1570 and their collaboration see recently Fiamminghi a Roma 1995, no. 58, 142-143. Theotokopoulos used this and other engravings by Cornelis Cort, see Xydis 1995, 151-152, figs 9, 12, 26, 27, 28. Noteworthy is the correspondence in pose and movement with the figure of Adam in an engraving after Dürer’s model of Adam and Eve, see above n. 29.
39. The Entombment, Stanley Moss Collection, New York, dimensions 51.5 x 42.9 cm (El Greco in Italy, 1995, 322 with bibliography, no. 41, fig. on p. 323 – J. Milicua). The work is close in date to the Modena triptych and slightly later than the Last Supper in Bologna. It is considered to be a copy of an engraving by Parmigianino (op. cit., fig. 1), as well as by Schiavone (op. cit., 324). Apart from the correspondence in the subject and the overall bright orangey yellow tone, two secondary but significant traits are linked with our icon: 1. The marble sarcophagus, which does not exist in Parmigianino’s drawing (op. cit., 322) is the same as the sarcophagus in the icon of
the Passion of Christ; it is placed obliquely and has the same faded rose colour and simple geometric outline. 2. In the group of the three Maries, which is a creation of Theotokopoulos (Steinberg 1974, 324), the arrangement of the three heads is reminiscent of that of the angels in the icon of the Passion. See also Kitaura 1995, figs 1, 2.
40. Wethey 1962, I, fig. 95, no. 103, The Entombment on a wooden panel: Paris, dimensions 36.5 x 28 cm (Steinberg 1974, fig. 88, 474ff.) and another three works with the same subject, in Madrid, Seville and an auction at Christie’s 1965 (Steinberg 1974, 474 with bibliography, figs 87, 90, 91). Dated c. 1576-1578, obviously influenced by Michelangelo. The vertical figure of Christ in the Florence Pieta is placed in a horizontal position (op. cit., 477).
41. For Spranger’s sojourn in Rome see above n. 37; see also recently Fiamminghi a Roma 1995, 32-47 especially 35-36 and 435, no. 30 (Bert W. Meijer). He worked on wall-paintings and pictures together with Giulio Clovio, in the court of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, and
collaborated on the decoration of the Villa Caprarola in early 1570, cf. Fiamminghi a Roma 1995, 341 and 439, n. 66. For Theotokopoulos’s sojourn in Rome see Trapier 1958, Wethey 1984 and Robertson 1995, 215ff. and 1995a, 39ff.
42. Scholars mention that during his stay in Rome he was influenced and copied works, among others, by Giulio Clovio. Rezniček, 1968, 372. Fiamminghi a Roma 1995, 341; see also above nn. 37 and 41.
43. Wethey assumes that Theotokopoulos would have only worked as an assistant in early 1570 (Wethey 1984, 172 and 5). Although his visit there is considered certain, his participation in the decoration is open to question, see Robertson 1995, 215Sff., 224, n. 24 and Brown 1982, 81. The first known portrait painted by Theotokopoulos in Rome is of Giulio Clovio (Wethey 1984, 173ff, fig. | and Robertson 1995a, 42ff., figs 2-3).
44. Giulio Clovio, in his letter of recommendation to Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, of 16 November 1570, refers to Domenikos Theotokopoulos as ‘un giovane candiotto’, while in the document of the painters’ guild in Rome his is mentioned as a ‘pittor a carta’. Cf. Wethey 1984,
I7Iff.. n. 4. with previous bibliography, and Robertson 1995, 222, n, 32 for a different interpretation of the term. The lack of large-scale works by Theotokopoulos in Italy is indirect evidence of his limited acceptance by the circles of the great painters of the day. For this reason the role of Giulio Clovio, who supported him from the outset, deserves particular appreciation cf. Wethey 1962, I, 28-29, Robertson 1995, 215ff. and 1995a, 39ff.: see also Monbeig-Goguel 1988, 43. El Greco received his first large commission to decorate the Altar of Santo Domingo el Antiguo while he was residing in Rome, before 1577, see recently In Search of El Greco 1990, 19, no. 18; Wethey 1984, 176-177; Mann 1986, 1-23; Robertson 1995a, 54; Hadjinicolaou 1995a, 72.
45. Panayotakis 1986, 96.
46.Frontispiece of a book by the Jewish printer Gershom Soncino, Fano 1507 (Art of the Printed Book 1974, fig. 33). The Cretans were able to obtain books published in Venice, as well as in other Western European cities, probably through Greeks — and particularly Cretans — living abroad (see Fatourou-Hesychakis 1982, 132; Panayotakis 1986, 81, n. 1). We note here that the list ought probably to include Constantinople, where the first book was printed in a Jewish printing house in 1503/4 or 1493/4 (Offenberg 1969, 96-112, pl. 4). I wish to thank Mr Kostas Staikos for providing me with the related bibliography. On Theotokopoulos’s library see below nn. 49, 59 and 75.
47. For this issue see Newbery, Bissaca, Kanter 1990, 22, with other examples of the dissemination of the ‘classical’ style in those years. Frames of the same type, of ‘naiskos’ shape with triangular pediment, were diffused early in the 15th century; in this period frames with a more complex, pedimental crowning device combining the semicircle with the triangle, also appeared (op. cit., 20ff., figs 14, 15, 16). These frames frequently have a representation of the Man of Sorrows on the tympanum of the triangular pediment (op. cit., fig. 16, frame c. 1470). An architectural frame in the shape of an altar with ‘classical’, broken triangular pediment is encountered in the mid-16th century (Private collection in New York, dimensions 25 x 18 inches, Heydenryk 1963, 53. fig. 47).
48. I warmly thank Laurence Kanter of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for the relevant discussion | had with him. The broken-arched pediment appears in more composite ornaments, such as in the engravings of the Pietà for Vittoria Colonna and the bronze pax, see nnn. 31 and 52, and Cat. no. 72, 436ff.
49. Funerary monument of the Medici (1520-1534), Porta Pia in Rome (designs of 1561-1564) and in the Sforza chapel in Santa Maria Maggiore, c. 1560-1573 (cf. Heydenreich – Lotz 1974, 258, 260, fig 85; Goldscheider 1953, figs 144-147, 203. 216). In Theotokopoulos’s library there was a copy of Vignola’s Regola delle cinque ordini d’ architettura in 32 tavole, the edition published in Rome in 1562 (see in connection Marìas – Bustamante 1981, 27, n. 26: ‘Vignola … con varios papeles de trazas’. On the architect and painter Vignola see Heydenreich – Lotz 1974, 207ff.) It has also been noted that Theotokopoulos was in Rome during the same years and that in certain paintings he was influenced by Vignola’s designs for the facade of the church of Gesù (Pavon 1962, 213-215; Trapier 1958, 78-79, who has noted the influence in the Healing of the Blindman, in Parma. Trapier. op. cit., figs 4, 5). This fagade was soon imprinted on medallions issued by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese in 1568 and 1575 (Davis 1989, nos 8, 9, pp. 44ff.. 47). It should be added here that the church of Gesù was also used as a model in Zakynthos (see below n. 59). Pavon notes that Vignola was in Rome at the same time as Domenikos Theotokopoulos. The influence of Vignola and Vitruvius is also noted by Marìas – Bustamante 1981, 27, 56-73, where El Greco ‘architeto’ is also examined (op. cit., 17-43). See also Puppi 1984, 1421ff and below n. 60.
50. Raphael, Autour des dessins du Louvre 1992, no. 150, 348 (Agostino Veneto). Monbeig-Goguel 1972, nos 290, 298, pp. 201, 202 (Vasari); Polyptyques 1990, 113-115 (C. Monbeig-Goguel).
51. See above n. 30. De Tolnay 1953, figs 3, 4.
52. For this subject see De Tolnay 1953, 58-59, figs 17, 18. See also the Scene of the Flagellation on two bronze relief plaquettes in Cleveland. and a Pietà in Oberlin, which was set in a similar frame (pax). all works by Moderno (Galeazzo Mondella?) from Northern Italy, who was working in Rome in 1506 (Wixom 1975, nos 33-34: Newbery, Bissaca, Kanter 1990, 54. no. 25). See also other examples Renaissance plaquettes 1994, no, 37 (Entombment), 37, 48 and no. 57 (Entombment), 64 and no. 96 (Entombment, 97 and no. 56 (Pietà), 63 and no. 68, 73.
53. Wethey 1962, I, 66ff., figs 301, 382, 383, 384 and II, 3ff.. 19ff.
54. Scholars note the originality and the difficulty of locating an exact model for the Altar designed by Theotokopoulos for the church of Santo Domingo in Toledo (Wethey 1962, I, 67-68 ‘very advanced indeed and moreover, highly original’). The Altar of Saint Barbara in the church of Santa Maria Formosa, in Venice (c. 1510), has been considered a more closely related model (Wethey 1962, I, 82-83, 112 and Soehrer 1961, 20-21, pl. 33; the author considers that E] Greco introduced this type of tripartite Altar in the church of Santo Domingo). See also Marìas – Bustamante 1981, 25 and in general 17-43, 63-64, 84-85, 91, 103. Martin Gonzalez, 1984, 115ff. See also below n. 60.
55. Drawing of the Pietà by Jacopo Bellini with the dead Christ to the waist, in a frame with triangular pediment, in the Louvre (Le Christ à la colonne 1993, 72, fig. 54). Drawing by Dürer for the frame of his painting of the Holy Trinity, after a commission in 1507 (see Heydenryk 1963, figs 38 and 39). The frame is in the form of a tabernacle with arched pediment, that is of analogous form to the frame of our icon. Nevertheless, an arched frame recurs on a large number of tabernacle frames c. 1500.
56. Dimakopoulos 1970, 333, 339. pl. ΠΘ’, fig. 18. Venetian Monuments of Rethymnon 1980, 51, fig. 26. Psilakis 1994, 192-193, fig. on 193.
57. Zivas 1970, 103ff., figs 225, 226, 227, 229, 231, 239, 240, 243, 244,
58. Fatourou-Hesychakis 1982, pls 21-22, 29, 30, 35, 36, 39, Dimakopoulos 1971, 209ff. and 1972, 23ff.
59. In the church of the Skopiotissa, which was completed in 1638, influence of Sebastiano Serlio, see Mylona 1984, 102ff., figs, 3, 6, pl. 7. In the church of the Hagia Triada in Chora influence from Vignola’s fagade of the church of Gesù, Zivas 1970, 11 1, figs 84, 186, 187.
60. The books on architecture in his library. which were examined by Marìas – Bustamente 1982, 48ff.. are recorded as follows: Sebastiano Serlio, Italian edition of 1560 (op. cit., 49); Vignola, 1562 edition (op. cit., 49); Palladio, Εditio princeps 1570 (op. cit., 49): Vitruvius with commentary by Daniele Barbaro, 1556 edition (op. cit., 50ff., 56-73). The first editions of Sebastiano Serlio, before their widespread reprints in 1584 and 1619, in Venice, had already been published in that city in 1557, 1559 and 1561 or 1578, while the first edition with engravings had circulated in Lyon in 1551. On the editions of Serlio see Brunet 1860 (1966), V. cols 304-305. Sebastiano Serlio designed a similar cornice with mouldings to that on the icon of the Passion of Christ, after the prototype by Vitruvius (Sebastiano Serlio, third book, vol. I, 1978, fig. on 103, no. G): frontispieces within a broken-arched frame are encountered in the fourth and seventh books by Serlio (op. cit. vols I, IH, 1978): a design for a door from the fourth book is of analogous form (op. cit., vol. I, 1978, 158, 169). For the circulation in Crete of the earlier editions of Serlio with wood-cuts see pertinent observations by Fatourou- Hesychakis 1982, 117, and mainly 126, 127, 132-133, 136. On Theotokopoulos’s architectural interests see Martin Gonzalez 1958: Marìas – Bustamante 1981, o. 27; Martin Gonzalez. 1985, 125, 130, 131, 132. For Theotokopoulos’s library see also below n. 72
61. Dimensions 77 x 55 em, Madrid, private collection, see El Greco of Toledo 1982, no. 8. 151. pl. 33. The Holy Mandylion was original placed below the Holy Trinity and above the Assumption of the Virgin, see reconstruction of the altar in El Greco of Toledo 1982, 150ff., figs 74-80 (Alfonso G. Pérez Sanchez). On the iconography see above η. 28. On Cretan icons with an integral wooden frame see icon frame Cat. no. 72, nn. IL. 12,
62. Chatzidakis 1962, no. 95, 115, pl. 54. For oval icons from the Ionian Islands see Cat. no. 49, n. 1: see also Cat. no. 72.
63. Constantoudaki 1975-76, 57-71 and Constantoudaki 1975, 294-296. Panayotakis 1986, 19-27.
64. Constantoudaki 1975-76, 61 and Constantoudaki 1975, 298-299: ‘The execution of an icon on a gold ground (quadro … dorato) is a traditional trait of Byzantine painting’. Panayotakis 1986, 19: ‘a painting of his with gold ground (quadro … dorato) representing the Passion of Christ’.
65. °… its characterization as a simple quadro does not seem to indicate that it was a painting of unusually large dimensions’ (Panayotakis 1986, 23).
66. Constantoudaki 1975-76, 61 and Constantoudaki 1975, 299: “it is possible that this succinct title implies the climax of his Passion, the Crucifixion’. Panayotakis 1986, 19-20: “it represented the Passion of Christ, that is in all probability the Crucifixion’.
67. Constantoudaki-Kitromilides 1995, 97: ‘that is probably the “Man of Sorrows” rather than the Crucifixion’. See also Baltoyanni 1995, 95, who proposes the identification of the icon with the Man of Sorrows, on a 16th-century Italo-Cretan icon in a composite frame of sansovino type, in Patmos. (The frame of this icon is included in Grimm 1978, 78, fig. 126, who considers it the work of a Venetian province and dates it to the 17th century. See also three other examples of the same type, the closest being the frame in the Pollak Collection, London (op. cit., fig. 125). See also Grimm 1981, no. 126, fig. 122.
68. Constantoudaki 1973, 377, ‘quadri, the use of the term by synecdoche to denote paintings and especially icons was … common’. Constantoudaki 1975, 298-300: ‘quadro, cadro, κάδρο, κβάρδο”.
69. For icons of the Man of Sorrows with half-length figure of the dead Christ see Chatzidakis 1974, 184-185. pls IΔ’ 2, 3, IE’ 1. 2. Chatzidakis (1977) 1985, 88-89, no. 40, pl. 101. The angels are usually shown on a very small scale, see e.g. Tzafouris’s Man of Sorrows, in Vienna, and an icon in a private collection in London (Chatzidakis – Babié 1982, 322-323: Th. Chatzidakis 1982, no. 8; From Byzantium to El Greco 1987, no. 61). See also icons of the Man of Sorrows with Christ upright and frontal, in Cyprus: from the church of Hagios Loukas in Nicosia (dimensions 83 x 40 cm), 15th century (?). Papageorghiou 1991, fig. 71. 115; from the Panagia church, Palaiochori (dimensions 99 x 67 cm) by the painter Philippos (op. cit., 115, fig. 70); from the church of the Chryseleousa at Strovolo (op. cit., 115).
70. The value of the work was estimated by two painters: the well-known painter Georgios Klontzas and the otherwise unknown priest Yannis De Frossego, at 70 and 80 ducats respectively, and it was sold for 70 ducats. See relevant comments on the high price, which equalled that of a painting by Tintoretto in Constantoudaki 1975-76, 59, 62, Constantoudaki 1975, 296, 300, and Panayotakis 1986, 19-20, 23.
71. Panayotakis 1986, 25.
72. Panayotakis 1974, 2321f.
73. Panayotakis 1968, 53ff. and Panayotakis 1988, 176.
74. Panayotakis 1968, 55ff.
75. In a communication presented at the VIII International Congress of Cretan Studies (12-9-1996) M. Hesychakis mentioned that 30 titles of books in Antonios Kallergis’s library coincided with those in Theotokopoulos’s library in Spain and considers the relationship between Theotokopoulos and the Antonios Kallergis family obvious. K. Fatourou-Hesychakis pointed out the same relationship in her communication. See Hesychakis 1996 and Fatourou- Hesychakis 1996,
76. Chatzidakis 1965, 47ff., fig. 16 on 50. Konomos 1967, fig. 4. Rigopoulos 1994, 51-53, no. 21.
77.1 visited the unpublished churches in August 1996, thanks to the hospitality of the head of the 6th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities Myrto Georgopoulou, the director of the Zakynthos Museum Zoe Mylona and the archaeologist Katerina Demeti. Rigopoulos gathered together
the examples in a concise publication, Rigopoulos 1994, 55, no. 24 with previous bibliography. For the iconostasis in Hagia Marina at Faya see Konomos 1964, fig. on 115 and Zivas 1970, fig. 191. On the churches see Konomos 1964, 113-115, 139.
78. For Adamantiou’s Report see Introduction, 47. Hagios Konstantinos at Kipoi: ‘in the prothesis the Descent from the Cross, Christ upheld by angels’ (Konomos 1963, 109). Hagios Spyridon Flambouriaris: ‘in the prothesis Christ being taken down from the cross by a very graceful angel holding the Saviour from the armpits with both hands’ (op. cit., 111). Zoodochos Pigi: ‘The Descent from the Cross. An angel holding Christ from the armpits’ (op. cit., 116). Estavromenos church: “Angel holding Chirst (op. cit… 116). Church of the Hagioi
Tessarakonta: ‘on the Royal Door Christ and an angel’ (op. cit.. 17). The icon in Hagia Aikaterini tou Grypari is mentioned by Pelekasis. The Muses 1920, no, 652, 2-3: ‘on the Royal Door is depicted a strange, italicizing Descent from the Cross’, and by Konomos 1964, 118- 119: ‘doors: angel holding the Lord’,
79.I wish to thank Katerina Demeti, archaeologist in the Zakynthos Museum. who investigated this in the Museum storerooms.
80. Konomos 1964, fig. on 131.
81. Rontoyannis 1974, 316 “for the one and only time in Lefkada’, figs 90, 91.
82. Konomos 1964, 14-15. Zois 1963, 254. For the painter see also Cat. no. 46, n. 16, Cat. no. 47, Cat. no. 48, 300ff.
83. See Cat. no. 48, 360ff., where the copies by Nikolaos Kallergis are discussed. See also Introduction, 49, 54.
84. For Antonios Kallergis’s library see Panayotakis 1968, 54, as well as above n. 75.
85. Michael Agapitos was also a Classicist, a theologian and a collector of valuable codices, as mentioned in his will of 1702. Among the icons he brought to Zakynthos were Angelos’s Christ Pantocrator and Michael Damaskenos’s Saint John the Baptist, Konomos 1968, 13-14. The
possibility that other families (Luca Miani, Georgios Sideros) brought icons by Domenikos Theotokopoulos from Crete to Zakynthos is discussed in the Introduction, 54-55.
86. Panayotakis 1968, 47.
87. Now in the Zakynthos Museum, unpublished. Konomos 1964, 15.
88. For the representations of Saint Veronica that Greco painted in Spain see Wethey 1962, II. 148-149, nos 6A, 70, 71, 282. 283, 284. figs 68, 69, 70, 71. The origin of the theme is found in a triptych in the Lavra Monastery on Mount Athos, presented at the VIII International Congress of Cretan Studies by Efthymios Tsigaridas and dated c. 1500 (Tsigaridas 1996, 241). The subject is known in engravings by Diirer (The /lustrated Bartsch 10, 1, 1980, 133, no. 38 (120) and 10, 2, 1981, 295); see also a copy by Marcantonio Raimondi (The Illustrated Bartsch 27 (14), 1978. no. 606, 1, 292), as well as by other earlier German painters, such as Shongauer (1445-1450) (The Mlustrated Bartsch 8, 1980, 272, no. 66 (149). It has been noted that Theotokopoulos used other engravings by Shongauer, see Xydis 1995, 145, fig. 10. The angel’s pose and the way in which he holds the Mandylion on the bema door of the iconostasis in Zakynthos is closer to Theotokopoulos’s works than any other model.
89. In the Lamentation the pose of the dead Christ is the same, as are the proportions of his body, and so is the pose of the Virgin behind him (Charalambidis 1978, fig. 21). In the Descent from the Cross, apart from the dead Christ. the faces and expressions of the lateral figures are similar, as are the diagonal axes of the composition (Lydakis 1977, 161. figs 5, 6. Konomos 1964, fig. on 112. See also Lydakis 1976, 37, fig. 30).
90. Konomos 1964, fig. on 138. Charalambidis 1978, fig. 24. Lydakis 1976, 38, fig. 32.
For the presence of Theotokopoulos’s early icons on Zakynthos and their influence on local painting see Introduction, 47-55 and Cat. nos 48 and 71. In Spain, during the years when El Greco was an obscure painter, his work was admired by the great painters Velasquez and
Goya, while his rediscovery and re-evaluation during the 19th century was started by artists and critics. | am most grateful to José Alvarez-Lopera for the relevant discussion I had with him. For this subject see Alvarez-Lopera 1987, and Brown 1982 and 1984, 29ff. See also Foundoulaki 1995, 5671.

Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco). The Passion of Christ – Pietà with Angels

Egg tempera on wood. Crete, 1566.

Frame: 68.7 x 45 Icon : 33.5 x 26.5 x 2.5 cm

(donation no. 12 )

Nano Chatzidakis, Icons. The Velimezis Collection, publication of the Benaki Museum, Athens 1997, cat. no. 17, page 184.