The iconostasis of Panagia

The iconostasis of Panagia

CHRIST
Agros, ancient monastery of Megas Agi os. Now at the parish church of Agros. Tempera, silver leaf and ochre glaze on wood primed with cloth, gesso and bole. Repaintings have been made with tempera, gold leaf and gold powder on preparation of gesso.
110.5 X 62.8 cm.
Last quarter of the 12th century. Repaintings of 1586, of which only some very small segments in the lower right corner and a part of the added relief halo in gesso remain.
Restored in 1991 by Andreas Papadopoulos.
Christ represented half-length, enface, right hand blessing in front of the chest and holding a Gospel Book open to the spectator in the left hand; the Gospel is red with white letters and its borders are ornamented with a series of lozenges.
Lozenges decorate also the right sleeve of Christ. Both the background and the cited lozenges are silvered and covered with ochre glaze.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

The icononstasis in the chapel of Panagia Katholiki at Pelendri dates back to the early 16th century. This period coincides with the beginning of the Venetian domination of Cyprus, which began officially in 1489. It is the period of the introduction to Cyprus of the richly sculpted and gilded iconostasis comprising several icon tiers.

This is one of the oldest of its kind to be preserved as a set in situ, together with the original part of that in the church of Panagia Podithou at Galata dating around 1502, and that of 1544 in the church of the Monastery of Saint Neofytos at Pafos. Also dating from the beginning of the 16th century seems to be the iconostasis of the church of the Dormition of the Virgin at Kourdali and other Cypriot examples not yet studied.
The Pelendri iconostasis comprises four registers containing forty-eight icons. The lowest tier is the “despotic”. The Dodekaorton next; above it is the Great Deisis, and at the top is the Crucifix framed by the two lypira. The iconostasis has suffered some modifications and losses. Of the forty-eight icons three of the Dodekaorton tier and others from the “despotic tier” are missing. The monks of Stavrovouni carried out several interventions and repaintings on the iconostasis in 1914: they replaced the panels (Thorakia) under the “despotic” tier; they frequently repainted the gilded background of several icons blue. Another intervention had previously taken place in 1863 when at least two icons of the “despotic” tier (those of Christ and Saint John) were repainted by Ioannis Michailidis.
The sculpted motifs of the iconostasis are mainly inspired by the late Gothic flamboyant style, but also by Italian Renaissance and Byzantine tradition.
The same borrowings from Western art are to be found in the painting of the icons, the work of an anonymous master, one of the most important Cypriot painters of the 16th century; his work assumes the aspect of a harmonious amalgamation of the late Paleologan tradition, the Gothic International style, Italian Renais­sance painting and the heritage of the Italian Primitives.
THE SANCTUARY DOORS
Pelendri, chapel of Panagia Katholiki, iconostasis.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with cloth, gesso and red bole.
Right Door: 153.5 X 50.1 cm
Left Door: 184 X 50.5 cm
Early 16th century.
Restored by Kostas Gerasimou in 1992.
The sculpture of the two shutters is inspired by the Gothic Flamboyant style; the two shutters together form a flamboyant arch on the top, crowned with an acanthus leaf, and containing a painted Annunciation. At the top of the arch there is a medallion with the Virgin Orans. The lower register of the shutters is composed of a series of circular arches on cabled columns, containing from left to right the paintings of the three Hierarchs (Saint Basil, Saint John Chrysostomus and Saint Gregory the Theologian) and finally Saint Nicholas. These arches are crowned by gables with acanthus foliage and pinnacles terminating in fleurs-de-lis. A rosette fills the centre of each gable. The painted panels have gilded backgrounds; the sculpted motifs are gilded on a blue and red background.
Bibliography: Sophocleous 1990, vol. 1, pp. 294-5, vol. II, pp. 251-3, vol. Ill, Pis 153-5.
Pelendri, chapel of Panagia Katholiki, iconostasis.
Tempera, gold leaf and gold powder on wood primed with cloth, gesso and red bole.
120.1X 79.8 cm.
Early 16th century.
Unrestored icon.
Saint Mamas is sitting on one side on a lion. He holds a lamb in his right arm and a fine and long crook in his left hand. Gilded background.
Bibliography: Gunnis 1936 and 1947, p. 375. Stylianou 1985, p. 233, fig. 133. Sophocleous 1990, vol. I. pp. 304 et 315, vol. II, p. 257, vol. Ill, pis 158 – 159: a-b. Sophocleous 1991a, no. 20.
THE ICON OF THE APPARITION OF CHRIST TO MARY MAGDALENE (Noli me tangere)
Pelendri, chapel of Panagia Katholiki, iconostasis.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with gesso and red bole.
49.1 X 33.7 cm.
Early 16th century.
Restored by Vojislav Lukovic in 1994.
The tall and fine silhouette of Christ stands at the right hand side of the scene, his emaciated body draped in a white himation and his eyes turned to the spectator; he puts his right hand towards the Magdalene who is prostrate before him, her hands veiled, held out in gesture of prayer. In the background there are two rocky hills, between which appears the open sarcophagus. On the ground and on the hills grows vegetation represented in a naturalistic way. Gilded background.
Bibliography: Sophocleous 1990, vol. I, p. 305, vol. II, p. 276, vol. Ill, pi. 170. Sophocleous 1991a, no. 21.
Pelendri, chapel of Panagia Katholiki, iconostasis.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with gesso and red bole.
74.5X 17-68 cm.
Early 16th century.
Restored by Vojislav Lukovic in 1994.
The Archangel Gabriel half-length, in three quarters view, raising his left hand in a gesture of prayer and holding an open scroll in the right hand. His eyes are turned on the spectator. Gilded background.
Bibliography: Sophocleous 1990, vol. I, p. 306, vol. II, p. 298, vol. Ill, pi. 178: d-e. Sophocleous 1991a, no. 22.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN WITH CHILD
Laneia, ancient church of Panagia tou Valana. Now in the parish church of the Virgin. Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with cloth and gesso.
92.3 X 63.5 cm.
Last quarter of the 12th century, with repaints of the 15th/16th century.
Unrestored icon.
Virgin in half-length, presented slightly in three quarters, holding the Child on the right arm and holding the left hand in prayer to Him. Jesus holds his right hand in benediction with the other on his left knee. Relief adornments in gilded plaster fill the frame, the background and the halo of Christ, but not that of the Virgin. The icon underwent repaintings in the 15th/l 6th century, including the golden foliage on the maphorion and the repainted garments of the Child.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN WITH CHILD
Obverse of a double faced icon.
Kato Pafos, church of Theoskepasti.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with (cloth?), gesso and bole. Relief adornments modelled with gesso.
The icon originally had a pole which is now cut away.
99.8 X 75.5 cm.
Late 12th century with later interventions.
Restored by Archimandrite Dionysios.
Virgin half-length holding the Child on her right side; the state of preservation of the painting does not permit recognition of the position of the hands. The Virgin wears the typical veil of Kykkotissa although she is not presented in that iconographical type. The raised haloes together with the background are a later addition; the original ones are ornamented with gilded relief adornments.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

SAI NT JAMES THE PERSIAN
Reverse of a double faced icon.
Kato Pafos, church of Theoskepasti.
Tempera and (gold leaf?) on wood primed with (cloth?), gesso and (bole?).
The icon originally had a pole which is now cut away.
99.8 X 75.5 cm.
Late 12th century.
Restored by Archimandrite Dionysios.
This extraordinary figure is to be identified with the military saint James the Persian. He is presented en face, half- length, holding a spear (its colours now flaked away) in the right hand and a sword with a shield in the left hand. He wears a red chlamys, a red Phrygian bonnet and an earring. No evidence for the colour of the background.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

Reverse of the icons

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN ELEOUSA (Obverse and reverse)
From the templon of the hermitage of Saint Neofytos. Now in the annexed Monastery of Saint Neofytos, Pafos.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with cloth, gesso and bole. On the reverse there is also a preparation of cloth and gesso under the tempera painting.
The icon originally had a pole which is now cut away.
73 X 46 cm.
Around 1183. Work attributed to Theodoras Apsevdis, the painter who executed the frescoes of 1183 in the hermitage of saint Neofytos.
Restored in 1967(?) by Fotis Zachariou.
Virgin figured half-length, three quarters, with her hands raised in prayer. Gilded background. The lower frame of the icon is decorated with triangles containing stylized vegetable motifs. The icon bears the epithet

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

CHRIST FILANTHROPOS (Obverse and reverse)
From the templon of the hermitage of Saint Neofytos. Now in the annexed Monastery of Saint Neofytos, Pafos.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with cloth, gesso and bole. On the reverse there is also a preparation of cloth and gesso under the tempera painting.
The icon originally had a pole which is now cut away.
73 X 46 cm.
Around 1183. Work attributed to Theodoras Apsevdis, the painter who executed the frescoes of 1183 in the hermitage of Saint Neofytos. The face has been scraped off and repainted at a later stage, probably in the 15th or 16th century.
Restored by Fotis Zachariou.
Christ figured en face, half-length, blessing with the right hand and holding a Gospel Book open to the spectator in the left hand. Gilded background. The lower frame of the icon is decorated with triangles containing stylized vegetable motifs. The icon bears the epithet.
The reverse of the icon is decorated by a cross accompanied by abbreviations of theological hermeneutics.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

CHRIST
Lagoudera, Monastery of Arakiotissa. Now in the Byzantine Museum of the Maka- rios III Foundation, Nicosia.
Tempera, gold and silver leaf on wood primed with cloth, gesso and bole.
105 X 70.5 cm.
Around 1192. Work attributed to the same artist who executed the frescoes of the monastery church in 1192, most probably Theodoras Apsevdis who executed the frescoes in Saint Neofytos hermitage in 1183.
Restored by Fotis Zachariou.
Christ figured en face, half-length, blessing with the right hand and holding a Gospel Book in the left hand. Gilded background. The frame, the clavus, the right maniple and the cover of the Gospel are silvered. On the frame of the icon are depicted different saints of which are preserved Saint John Chrysostomus and Saint Gregory the Theologian on the left frame and Saint Theodoros Stratilatis with Saint George on the lower frame. The lower frame of the icon contains the dedicatory inscription of a certain hieromonk Gerasimos. On the reverse of the icon another figure of Christ has been painted in the 19th century.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN WITH CHILD (ARAKIOTISSA)
Lagoudera, Monastery of Arakiotissa. Now in the Byzantine Museum of the Maka- rios III Foundation, Nicosia.
Tempera and silver leaf on wood primed with cloth, gesso and bole.
103.5 X 73.5 cm.
Around 1192. Work attributed to the same artist who executed the frescoes of the monastery church in 1192, most probably Theodoros Apsevdis who executed the frescoes in Saint Neofytos hermitage in 1183.
Restored by Fotis Zachariou.
Virgin figured half-length, holding the Child on the left arm. Jesus blesses with the right hand and holds a closed scroll in the other. Silver background. Frame decorated with silver lozenges and strips alternated. The icon bears the epithet APAKIOTICCA (sic).

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN ELEOUSA
Trachypedoula, Monastery of Agios Savvas tis Karonos. Now in the Byzantine Museum of the Bishopric of Pafos.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with cloth, gesso and bole.
The icon originally had a pole which is now cut away.
100 X 59 cm.
First half of the 13th century. The punched ornamentation in the haloes seems to be of a later date.
Restored by Archimandrite Dionysios.
Virgin presented half-length, holding the Child in the left arm and extending the
right hand in prayer to him. Christ blesses with the right hand raised and holds a (scroll?) in the left hand. Gilded background. The icon bears the epithet EAEOVCA.
The reverse of the icon is ornamented with a cross whose base sprouts stylized foliage; the cross is flanked with the symbols of the Passion (the spear and the sponge) and abbreviations of theological hermeneutics.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN WITH CHILD
Doros, church of Panagia Galaktotrofousa.
Tempera on wood primed with cloth and gesso.
96.2 X 64 cm.
First decades of the 13th century.
Restored in 1987 by Kostakis Chasapopoulos.
Virgin figured in half-length, holding Jesus on the right arm and holding the left hand in prayer to Him. Jesus gestures with the right hand in benediction and holds a closed scroll in the left hand. Haloes with low relief decoration modelled in gesso. The colour of the background has been altered.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

ASCENSION OF THE PROPHET ELIJAH
Agios Theodoros, church of Panagia Kivotos.
Tempera on wood primed with cloth and gesso.
92.1 X 59.1 cm.
13th century.
Unrestored icon.
The prophet Elijah on a quadriga, ascending to heaven. He is turning slightly to the right and is throwing his melote to Elisha. The four horses are divided in two groups, one at the right and another at the left of the chariot, separated by the big wheel in the middle. In the upper right comer appears the hand of God blessing the prophet. The haloes are ornamented with foliage in relief executed in gesso. Yellow ochre background and rocky landscape at the bottom. In the right lower comer appears a priest kneeling in supplication (the donor of the icon?), holding the Gospel in front of his breast.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

THREE APOSTOLES
Fragment of an icon.
Lefkoniko, church of Saint Michael. Now in the Byzantine Museum of Makarios III Foundation, Nicosia.
Tempera on wood primed only with gesso.
42 X 19 cm.
13th century.
Restored by Fotis Zachariou.
The three apostles are represented in slight three quarter position, with one hand raised and the other holding a scroll. A small segment of a fourth figure can be seen on the upper left comer. Red background.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

SAINTS TIMOTHEOS AND MA VRA (Obverse and reverse)
Koilani, ancient monastery of Saint Mavra. Now in the Koilani Ecclesiastical Museum.
Tempera and gold leaf on wood primed with cloth, gesso and bole. Relief haloes modelled with gesso and gilded.
98 X 63.5 cm.
13th century.
Restored in 1982/1983 by Andreas Farmakas.
Saint Timotheos and Saint Mavra figured standing and en face, their hands held before their chest, the left hand turned opened towards the spectator, the right hand holding a cross. The colour of the background has been altered.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN WITH CHILD
Agios Theodoras, chapel of Saint George.
Tempera on wood primed with cloth and gesso. Relief ornamentation executed in gesso.
95.8 X 61.8 cm 13th century.
The icon seems to have been cleaned (the varnish has been removed) at an unspecified time in the 20th century.
Virgin half-length, en face, holding the Child in the right hand and extending the left hand to Him in prayer. She wears a blue chiton with red and black motifs and a purple maphorion. Jesus wears a chiton of the same cloth as his mother’s; the pigments of his himation have flaked off. The original colour of the background cannot be identified as it has been altered.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN ELEOUSA
Fasoula, church of Panagia Chryseleousa.
Tempera on wood primed with cloth and gesso. Relief ornamentation in gesso.
96.9 X 65.6 cm.
13th century.
Unrestored icon.
Virgin with Child figured half-length. She holds the Child in her arms. The two figures are shown cheek-to-cheek. The border of the Virgin’s maphorion, the haloes and the background are ornamented with motifs in relief (once gilded?). The icon’s frame is painted with a series of white lozenges with flowerets. The icon bears the epithet EAEOVCA.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

CRUCIFIXION
Reverse of a double faced icon. The obverse (a Virgin with Child) was repainted in
1693 by Ioannikios.
Pano Amiantos, ancient Monastery of Saint Mamas Kouremenos.
Now in Pelendri, chapel of Panagia Katholiki.
Tempera on wood primed with cloth and gesso. Relief ornamentation in the haloes
executed in gesso.
The icon originally had a pole which is now cut away.
104.5X 74.3 cm.
13th century.
Unrestored icon.
Christ represented dead on the Cross fixed on a hillock symbolizing Golgotha. He is fixed on the Cross with four nails and his feet lean on the suppedaneum. On either side appear theVirgin and Saint John the Evangelist, each holding one hand to their faces expressing their pain. Green background and frame ornamented with painted red and yellow motifs.

The iconostasis of Panagia Katholiki church

VIRGIN WITH CHILD
Nicosia, church of Saint Kassianos. Now in the Byzantine Museum of the Makarios III Foundation, Nicosia.
Tempera, lake and gold leaf on wood primed with parchment and gesso.
203 X 156 cm.
13th century. The faces of the Virgin and the Child seem to have been repainted. Restored by Fotis Zachariou.
Virgin figured enthroned under a trilobe arch, the feet on a cushion, holding the Child with her left hand on her left thigh. With her right hand she holds her garment over a group of kneeling Carmelite monks. On the upper part two angels converge on the Virgin. The two vertical large frames are Filled by scenes of Virgin’s miracles. Gilded background. The inscriptions on the icon are in Latin.