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THE HOLY TRINITY
Drawing. Pencil covered by brownish red gouache
67.5 x 67.5 cm.
Late 18th-early 19th century
The unfinished drawing, in quite good condition, comprises five pieces of paper glued together and the whole mounted on canson and card.
Christ and God the Father are depicted in reciprocal poses, seated and turned towards the centre. The first blesses and holds a closed codex, while the second blesses and holds a sceptre. Both figures wear achiton anda himation, draped in deep folds picked out in red- dish gouache. On the triangular nimbus of God the Father is the inscription O Ω N (the Being).
The representation of the Holy Trinity with the three figures was created in Palaiologan times and established in Post-Byzantine painting. Principal characteristic of it is the organization around a vertical axis and the frontal pose of the figures. A new iconographic rendering appeared in the seventeenth century, which follows an engraving by J. Sadeler (1591) and is organized around a horizontal axis, with the figures converging. Characteristic example of the innovative type is the icon in the monastery of Strophades and St Dionysios, Zakynthos (18th century). The Western type, which was probably also the distant model of the drawing here, evidently held an appeal in the artistic production of Epirus, as revealed by the icons in St George at Negades and Christ the Saviour at Ano Pedina, by the painter Thomas Marinas (1889) from Chionades, as well as in a series of Athonite prints.
The symmetrical and well-balanced composition in the present drawing, with the rendering of the figures in the Western mode, refers to painter who was a competent drauftsman capable of draw- ing elements from Byzantine and Western art and blending them harmoniously in a single representation with pronounced doctrinal and confessional content.
Ν. Χατζηδάκη 1983, no. 23.
Mystery Great and Wondrous 2002, no. 93 (A. Drandaki).
Acheimastou-Potamianou 1998a, no. 67.
Papastratos 1990, vol. I, nos 74, 75, 76, 77.