The icinostasis of the monastery of saint Neofytos
The icinostasis of the monastery of saint Neofytos, Pafos
The iconostasis in the church of the monastery of Saint Neofytos outside Pa- fos is the work of the painter Iosif Chouris, dating from 1544. The artist has signed in Greek on the reverse of five icons of the series of the Great Deisis. As his name suggests, Chouris is a hellenized painter coming from the Syrian community of Cyprus. His signature is accompanied by the date 7th August 1544. Iosif Chouris follows the Italianized stylistic trend of the 16th century, which enriches the old Paleologan tradition with borrowings from the Italian Renaissance. He is not however so influenced by Italian art as the anonymous master of the iconostasis of Pelendri. Similar foreign borrowings are to be found in the sculpted ornamentation of the iconostasis, coming from the Gothic Flamboyant style and Italian Renaissance.
Surviving from the original iconostasis, and spanning the entire width of the three naves of the monastic church, are the overall wooden carved and gilded structure and the three upper tiers of icons: the Dodekaorton (21 icons survived) (see here four icons of this tier: Figs 28-31), the Great Deisis (16 icons survived), and at the top there is in the space of the central nave the Crucifixion flanked by the two lypira; in the north nave is the Resurrection and in the south nave the Man of Sorrow; the shape of these two last icons is similar to that of the two lypira flanking the Crucifixion in the central nave.
The whole iconostasis has been restored by the Department of Antiquities (Restorer: Evangelos Chatzistefanou).