Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros48From Constantinople to Vienna: On...

From Constantinople to Vienna: On the Different Tendensies in Greek Orthodox Ecclesiastical Embroidery (17th‑18th Centuries)

De Constantinople à Vienne: À propos de différentes écoles de broderie de tradition religieuse orthodoxe grecque (XVIIe‑XVIIIe siècles)
Από την Κωνσταντινούπολη στη Βιέννη: Διάφορες σχολές Ελληνορθόδοξου κεντήματος (17ος ‑ 18ος αιώνας)
Elena Papastavrou et Daphni Filiou

Résumés

Résumé : la présente étude examine divers courants liés à la broderie de tradition byzantine durant les xviie et xviiie siècles. Plus particulièrement, nous allons considérer des œuvres d’art représentatives de broderies de l’École de Constantinople et de Vienne, où la communauté grecque était florissante, aussi bien que des broderies produites dans la partie orientale du monde où rayonne l’art byzantin, comme en Géorgie et au Pont. Il s’agit d’une étude fondée sur une approche interdisciplinaire liée à l’examen aussi bien de l’iconographie et du style que de la technique. En d’autres termes, afin de rendre les œuvres à leur contexte culturel, notre recherche se penche sur la méthode de construction des broderies en combinaison avec l’étude des autres facteurs déterminant la création artistique.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

Introduction

1The Greek Orthodox embroidery of the 17th and the 18th centuries belongs to a period of material, intellectual, and spiritual growth of Hellenism. It is the moment of the ascent of the Fanariots in higher echelons of the Ottoman establishment, the growth of Greek communities in various financial centers in Europe and Russia, and the thriving of the Greek merchants in East and West. Nonetheless, at the same time, different spiritual tendencies were forged at the environment of the Ecumenical Patriarchate concerning the dogmatic expression of Orthodoxy, whereas Greek theologians engaged in dialogue with the other two Christian denominations, Catholics and Protestants on crucial dogmatic topics. Within this context the conditions occurred for Greek Orthodox culture and art to flourish; consequently many embroidery workshops became established and were active in different parts of the Ottoman Empire, as well as outside of it.

Constantinopolitan Workshops

  • 1 Papastavrou & Filiou, 2016, p. 161‑176; Papastavrou, 2020, p. 205-230.
  • 2 When Maria Theochari (see Theochari, 1966‑1967, p. 227‑241) included Eusebia to the group of the Co (...)
  • 3 In the river we see fishes, an element that occurs also in Byzantine cases, as f.i. in the gospelbo (...)
  • 4 Papastavrou & Vryzidis, 2018, p. 251‑278, fig. 11.
  • 5 Davanzo, 1997, no. 13, no. 45.
  • 6 Tezcan & Okumura, 2007, 53, no. 8 and 54, no. 9.

2During the 18th century, the Constantinopolitan embroidery workshops followed the trends known in post-Byzantine art, that were deeply influenced by the Byzantine tradition,1 while at the same time drafted different artistic elements directly from the West as well as from the East. Therefore, the evident eclecticism led often to original creations. An example of this is the work of the well‑known embroideress Eusebia, whose embroidery is characteristic of the Constantinopolitan artistry of that period.2 The epigonation of the Byzantine and Christian Museum (BXM 1711) presents the Baptism of Christ (Fig. 1) and is signed on the left corner by Eusebia «χειρ Ευσεβείας» (“by the hand of Eusebia”). The garment is framed by a luxurious ornamental border. The main scene derives from the Byzantine tradition portraying Jesus standing in the middle of the River Jordan filled with fishes3. John the Baptist is on the left bank, an angel on the right bank of the river, while the Holy Spirit descends like a dove. The fair colour of the eyes and hair, as well as the sweetened facial expression are Western traits, while the breeches4 in the garments of the angel (Fig. 2) and John Baptist show an Ottoman influence. Furthermore, the floral ornament of the border exhibits influences that can be found in both European embroideries5 and Persian rugs.6

Figure 1. Epigonation BXM 1711, by the female embroiderer Eusebia

Figure 1. Epigonation BXM 1711, by the female embroiderer Eusebia

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

Figure 2. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail

Figure 2. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 7 In the Byzantine and Post‑Byzantine art scene of the Baptism, Christ steps on a multitude of little (...)
  • 8 This controversy mainly concerned Roman Catholic and Armenian converts to Greek Orthodox; the debat (...)
  • 9 See above, note 7. Both Armenians and Greeks produced embroideries in Constantinople and shared ico (...)

3A significant particularity in the Baptism is that of Christ stepping on a dragon.7 This detail is unusual in Byzantine and post‑Byzantine tradition, where more commonly four little snakes are seen under Jesus’ feet in the Baptism. In the case of the epigonation, the choice of the dragon instead of the aforementioned snakes may be considered as an innovation in the art of Constantinople. It possibly corresponds to the patron’s wish to emphasise a concrete dogmatic viewpoint related to the theological controversy about Anabaptism,8 a debate of great significance in Constantinople during the 18th century. In order to emphasise the fact that evil spirits can be defeated by the Orthodox sacrament of baptism, the person who conceived the scene used the form of a dragon inspired by Armenian iconography.9

Figure 3. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail

Figure 3. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

Figure 4. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail

Figure 4. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

4As for the technique of the embroidery, the flesh (Fig. 3) is rendered with very fine silk thread in split stitch, following the facial features and the structure of the human body. In addition, silver and gilded wires are applied for the garments and for all other decorative details on a padded surface. Moreover, the border is constructed from materials that are slightly bulkier, therefore, giving the impression of a somewhat more raised appearance, which is not a characteristic in Byzantine embroidery. Furthermore, a combination of silk threads and metal wires are used, in order to give a realistic aspect to little details such as the angel’s wings, the river’s water and the dragon’s skin (Fig. 4). Specifically, a blue or green silk thread is twisted with silver wires and then fixed on the surface, whilst additional silver wires are fixed loosely giving the impression of the flowing water. A similar combination of silk thread and gilded wires, twisted together, form the dragon’s body while, an additional small group of gilded wires form the scales of the dragon’s rough and harsh skin. Such material combinations, originating from Byzantine embroidery, are still very popular in 18th century Constantinopolitan workshops.

5As previously discussed, Eusebia’s work combines the main features of the Constantinopolitan embroidery of the 18th century. These features include the masterly execution of the flesh, made with fine stitches of silk thread, the silver and gilded wires for all the other elements of the scene and of course the numerous combinations and applications of silk threads and metallic materials, in this case.

  • 10 The group consists of three liturgical veils used as covers; an Ἀήρ (aer: chalice and paten’s veil) (...)
  • 11 For the iconography of the composition see below, notes 31-35.
  • 12 Pallas, 1965; Belting, 1981, figs. 53, 59‑60, 70‑74, 97, 101‑103, 105; Schiller, 2, figs. 718, 720, (...)
  • 13 Schiller, 3, figs. 235, 249.
  • 14 Christ in the chalice is a Eucharistic theme known in Byzantine painting since the 14th c. (church (...)
  • 15 See Koutloumousianos, 1846, p. 38.
  • 16 Patmos. Treasures of the Monastery, p. 200, fig. 7.

6At the same time, Constantinopolitan embroidery seems to present more variation in its making. In the present state of research, the signed embroideries that could provide solid evidence on this variation in early modern Constantinople are failing. Nevertheless, in our attempt to give the full (a more complete) picture we will discuss a group of three 18th-century ecclesiastical veils10 (BXM 21103, 21116, 21145). All three artefacts display a united but different technical approach in their construction than we saw in Eusebia’s work. Although they are unsigned, Constantinopolitan attribution is possible for two main reasons. First of all, their floral décor closely recalls a signed work by a Constantinopolitan embroideress, to be discussed in the following. Second, the confection of the flesh is found in an earlier work attributed to Constantinople because of a concordance of factors. On a red silk satin ground textile, the central scenes are surrounded by bunches of flowers. At the edge a green strip is covered with a floral motif. The first veil, an aer (ΒΧΜ 21103) (Fig. 5) depicts the scene of Lamentation, where Christ is lying on the shrine, in front of the Cross, with two lamenting angels hovering above.11 The second veil, a paten’s veil (BXM 21116) (Fig. 6) shows Christ standing in the open tomb in front of the Cross, in the iconographic type of the Ultimate Humiliation (the King of Glory).12 The inscription reads “Απόπλυνον Κύριε τας αμαρτίας του δούλου σου Ιωακείμ Ιερομονάχου τω αίματί σου τω τιμίω, 1757” (Oh Lord, wash the sins of your servant monk Joachim by your holy blood, 1757). The third veil, a chalice’s veil (BXM 21145) (Fig. 7) pictures two scenes: the first being that of the Resurrection, where Christ is holding a labarum hovering above the open tomb,13 and the second being that of Christ in a chalice. 14 The multicoloured decoration on the veils’ edging, is embroidered with silk threads, metal threads, wires and strips (the latter often forming tiny spirals called tirtir) bearing very close resemblance to a veil kept in the Monastery of Patmos. The Patmos veil is signed by Sophia (1745), who is the daughter15 and disciple of another renowned Constantinopolitan embroideress, Mariora.16

Figure 5. Liturgical veil, aer, BXM 21103

Figure 5. Liturgical veil, aer, BXM 21103

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

Figure 6. Paten’s veil BXM 21116

Figure 6. Paten’s veil BXM 21116

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

Figure 7. Chalice’s veil BXM 21145

Figure 7. Chalice’s veil BXM 21145

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 17 The technique of the flesh made on silk ground fabric while the details are stitched with thread l (...)

7Regarding the construction of the veils, they present a mixed technique of embroidery and painting. Even though typical Constantinopolitan stitches and materials are used for the embroidered section, the flesh is executed in different ways. For example, on the aer (BXM 21103) (Fig. 8), an off-white silk satin textile is used for the body of Christ (now missing in most parts), whereas the flesh on the other two covers (BXM 21116, and BXM 21145) is painted directly on the red silk satin ground textile. The technique of the flesh of the above-mentioned veils must not be an innovation of an 18th-century Constantinopolitan workshop, since it is distinguished on another artwork of the Byzantine & Christian Museum, the 17th-century epigonation with the Christ-Angel (BXM 1705). The flesh is confectioned with an off-white ground silk satin, while the details are stitched with silk thread linearly. As noticed above, no signed Constantinopolitan work conferring this flesh technique has been identified yet. Nevertheless, the other technical features could still sustain a Constantinopolitan attribution.17

Figure 8. Liturgical veil, aer, BXM 21103, detail

Figure 8. Liturgical veil, aer, BXM 21103, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 18 The Ottoman capital was an artistic centre, where the Top Kapi’s artistic cadre decided on those te (...)
  • 19 Krody, 2000, p. 29.

8The afore presented analysis of the group of veils of the Byzantine & Christian Museum provides substantial evidence that in Constantinopolitan embroidery more techniques are applied, at least more than initially thought, a characteristic which fits to the character of a big and cosmopolitan city. Actually, during the 18th century, the City operated as an artistic centre,18 where a lot of different currents were present, giving the market and clients a great variety of alternatives. Options that possibly also influenced the price of the embroideries.19

Viennese Workshops

  • 20 On Viennese workshops see Theochari, 1986, p. 13; Vlachopoulou‑Karabina, 2010, p. 2571, esp. 2740; (...)
  • 21 A Mystery Great and Wondrous, p. 368.
  • 22 See an epitaphios of 1796, made by Marina Ruheland today kept in the National Museum of History in (...)
  • 23 Chatzoulis, 2019.
  • 24 Archive of the Stavronikita Monastery. Compendium of documents 1533-1800, 2001, 128, no. 69: «Γράμ (...)

9At the same time ecclesiastical embroideries made in Vienna became very popular to the Greek clientele.20 Vienna was a crucial commercial centre and cultural hub, connected with the Ottoman Empire, where the Greeks established an important and wealthy community. There, chief Masters like Elizabeth Dorff, 21 Marina Ruheland,22 Franz Filler, as well as the famous painter, engraver and embroiderer Christopher Zephar,23 produced embroideries for the Greek Orthodox Church. Ecclesiastical veils and vestments were commissioned not only by Greeks of Vienna but also by Greeks from different regions of Greece and the Balkans, or even from other European centers like Budapest and Bucharest.24

  • 25 In the Byzantine & Christian Museum’s Photographic Archive a photograph (Inv. Nr. XAE 3378) depicts (...)

10Viennese embroideries usually depict crowded compositions of Western iconography and feature particular techniques. They present similar traits with small variations throughout the 18th century (Fig. 9)25. An example of this art, is the Epitaphios treasured in the church of Archimandreion in Ioannina and dated 1733 (Fig. 10), which is analysed in the following. The main scene depicts the Lamentation over the dead body of Christ. Around Him, there is a group of people mourning his death; the Mother of God, women Myrrh-bearers, St John the disciple, Nicodemos, Joseph and the archangels Michael and Gabriel. Behind them is the cross, the crown of thorns, the sponge and the spear. In front of the shrine there are two kneeling angels, the washbowl and the vessel of myrrh. The landscape is depicted in the background. The church of the Holy Sepulcher and the hill Golgotha are to the left of the landscape, whereas, on the opposite side appear the city of Jerusalem and the enclosure containing the open tomb with the angel. Up in heaven there are soaring seraphs, oil-lamps, the sun, the moon and stars. On the four corners of the scene stand the Evangelists and their symbols enclosed in elaborate frames. The edging of the Epitaphios is covered by a wide gold floral decorative band in the Baroque style while, on the lower part of the veil, the remains of an inscription give the year 1733.

Figure 9. Liturgical veil, epitaphios

Figure 9. Liturgical veil, epitaphios

Photo: Byzantine & Christian Museum’s Photographic Archive (Inv. Nr. XAE 3378)

Figure 10. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina

Figure 10. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina

Photo: Kostas Liougos

  • 26 Tirtir is made of wire, strip or metal thread twisted in spiral.

11Regarding the technique used to construct the mentioned Epitaphios, there are some basic differences compared to the Constantinopolitan method. The ground textile is completely covered with embroidery, without padding underneath or with a very low relief. It is also noticeable that some areas of the embroidery are separately made, on a different ground textile, and then applied on the vestment (eg. the seraphs and the frames with the Evangelists) (Fig. 10). The flesh is rendered with fine silk thread in split stitch alternated with satin stitch for the facial features and the structure of the human body. Some facial characteristics (Fig. 11), such as the eyes or the lips, are marked linearly by the gaps created between the rows of satin stitches. The hair and beards are made with thicker and twisted silk threads in stem stitch. Furthermore, regular intervals metal threads horizontally aligned are fixed creating a shimmering surface (Fig.12). Additionally, the haloes are made with metal threads applied circularly and fixed in simple couching stitch that forms slightly curved lines. They are also decorated with sequins fixed with tirtir. 26 Moreover, the whole background of the scene is covered with lightly twisted metal threads using simple couching stitch. The border decoration (Fig. 13) is made with metal thread couched over a layer of cardboard that creates a relief.

Figure 11. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, detail, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina

Figure 11. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, detail, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina

Photo: Kostas Liougos

Figure 12. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina, detail

Figure 12. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina, detail

Photo: Kostas Liougos

Figure 13. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion, Ioannina, detail

Figure 13. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion, Ioannina, detail

Photo: Kostas Liougos

  • 27 The Epitaphios’ inscription reads: ΑΦΙΕΡΩΘΗ ΠΑΡΑ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ ΚΡΟΜΥΔΗ ΕΝ ΕΤΕΙ 1780” (DEDICATED BY GEOR (...)
  • 28 Chatzoulis in this volume « À propos d’un epitrachilion de 1664 de la Métropole de Trikkis et Stago (...)
  • 29 The inscription reads “+ΚΤΗΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΤΑΠΕΙΝΟΥ ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙΤOΥ ΒΑΡΝΗΣ ΦΙΛΟΘΕΟΥ ΣΙΦΝΙΟΥ ΑΨΥς΄” (POSSESSION (...)

12Two more vestments are attributed to the Viennese workshops. The first is an Epitaphios (Fig. 14) treasured in the Church of Perivleptos in Ioannina, dated 1780,27 which bears similar iconographic and technical features as the above mentioned Epitaphios. The second is an epitrachelion (stole) (BXM 1710) (Fig. 15), from the Byzantine and Christian Museum’s collection. This depicts typical iconography seen in Byzantine and post-Byzantine stoles.28 The Apostles are depicted standing under arches within an elaborate gold embroidered frame (Fig. 16). In the lower part, the inscription gives the name of the Archbishop Philotheos Siphnios, of Varna Metropolis and the date 1796.29

Figure 14. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Perivleptos, Ioannina

Figure 14. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Perivleptos, Ioannina

Photo: Kostas Liougos

Figure 15. Stole (epitrachelion) BXM 1710

Figure 15. Stole (epitrachelion) BXM 1710

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

Figure 16. Stole (epitrachelion) BXM 1710, detail

Figure 16. Stole (epitrachelion) BXM 1710, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

13Regarding the technique used on the stole, it presents characteristic features noted in the Viennese embroideries. To begin, the embroidery is rather flat than raised. The epitrachelion is made on two different ground textiles; the main one is a light blue silk satin, whilst the second is an off-white silk taffetas. The elaborate frames and the arches are made of metal threads couched over a paperboard padding on the satin. The Apostles and their silver-coloured background are embroidered on the taffetas and then applied onto the main ground satin textile of the vestment. The edges of the above-mentioned applied taffetas are covered with curved sequins. Regarding the flesh and the hair, these are made with fine silk threads in satin stitch combined with filling stem stitch and split stitch. The garments are mainly made with silk threads in pale colours, whilst in regular intervals, metal threads horizontally aligned are fixed creating a shimmering surface as in the previously mentioned veil. The haloes are made with metal threads applied circularly and fixed in simple couching stitch that forms slightly curved lines. These haloes are also decorated with curved embossed sequins fixed with tirtir. The terrain, where each Apostle stands is made of lightly twisted metal threads in various colours forming stripes.

14As previously described, Greek ecclesiastical embroideries made in Vienna during the 18th century, in certain cases present a completely distinct western iconography showing the artist’s preference for dense visual narrative (horror vacui) and a somehow realistic depiction of the details with naive facial expressions and soft colours for the garments and the landscape. In addition, the embroidery presents a rather low relief and a preference of silk threads in pale colours for the figures’ garments, the details and the background of the scenes. Additionally, Viennese embroideries present a completely different approach regarding the making of the flesh compared to the Constantinopolitan embroideries. Finally, these embroideries are often constructed using two different ground textiles that are later united in one vestment as described above.

An epitaphios veil connected with Viennese/Western technique

  • 30 This polos is an 18th century constantinopolitan embroidery. see Byzantine & Christian Museum, Pap (...)
  • 31 Mylona, 1998, p. 271, no. 111, icon with Christ lying on the stone of the tomb, and two kneeling a (...)
  • 32 Vrachimis’s epitaphios (end of the 17th century). The veil was bought in Constantinople by the Cyp (...)
  • 33 See the antimension BXM 20791 dated to 1801, Karapli & Papastavrou, 2014, pp. 227‑228, Fig. 11.
  • 34 See the detail of the angel in the Thessaloniki epitaphios: Museum of Byzantine Culture (mbp.gr).
  • 35 The angels in the Crucifixion, painter from the circle of Paolo Venziano, Muraro, 1970, Fig. 43; B (...)
  • 36 Papastavrou, 2019, photo on p. 21 and on the front cover.

15Next, another epitaphios of the Byzantine and Christian Museum’s collection will be discussed displaying traits that partly recall those of the above analysed works. The epitaphios (BXM 21381) (Fig. 17) presents Christ lying on the shrine, in front of the Cross, while two lamenting angels hover above. The embroidery has been cut off its original ground fabric and applied on a new burgundy silk velvet. At the same time of the embroidery’s transfer, the decorated border with the inscriptions was created and the polos (roundel)30 was probably applied in the upper right corner of the veil. Its iconography lies far from the crowded arrangements and densely embroidered work previously described in the Viennese workshops. It follows Cretan iconographic prototypes of the 16th-century. To be more precise, Christ’s iconography expanded widely in the Ionian Islands,31 in Constantinople32 and elsewhere,33 whereas the angel’s form and gesture recall both Byzantine34 and Venetian works.35 In style, though, certain facial features (eyes, eyebrows, nose) recall Viennese embroideries (Fig. 11).36

Figure 17. Liturgical veil, epitaphios BXM 21381

Figure 17. Liturgical veil, epitaphios BXM 21381

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 37 The access to the reverse of the embroidery would be illuminating regarding the species of the sti (...)

16Regarding the technique, the low relief embroidery is made on an off-white cotton tabby. The flesh (Fig. 18) is rendered with fine silk thread in a long, double stem stitch,37 without following the facial features and the anatomic structure of the human body. The facial features and the body structure are made with silk thread in couching stitch, while the hair is in split stitch in two shades of brown. The angels’ wings are made in long and short stitch with silk threads of different colours that create a smooth chromatic transition. Additionally, metal threads are fixed in regular intervals, horizontally aligned, creating a shimmering surface. The long feathers on the edges are executed in fishbone stitch, using two colours of silk thread. The garments, the haloes, the shrine etc. are made on a low padding with metal threads in simple couching stitch.

Figure 18. Liturgical veil, epitaphios BXM 21381, detail

Figure 18. Liturgical veil, epitaphios BXM 21381, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

17To sum up, the above mentioned technical details, i.e. the almost flat aspect of the embroidery, the stitches used for the silk threads, the applied materials for the shimmering surface, are features that prove a close relationship to western embroidery workshops. Even if the veil provides iconographical affinities with those that characterise the Eastern Mediterranean pictorial trends of the 17th-18th centuries (i.e., a mix of Byzantine and Venetian traits), there are stylistic and technical elements which seem closer to western European embroidery, using materials and methods of application similar to these of the Viennese workshops of the same period. However, the actual state of research and the fragmentary survival of the original composition do not permit a more precise attribution.

Workshops of the eastern border of the former Byzantine empire

  • 38 The writers would like to cordially thank Dr. Aftandil Mikaberidze, Director of the Institute of G (...)

18Continuing the analysis and moving to another artistic environment, the eastern borders of the former Byzantine world, we shall face the veil BXM 21108 (Fig. 19) depicting the Lamentation and inscriptions in Georgian read: “The Lamentation” on the upper section and “The dignitary Joseph…” on the lower section.38 The scene shows Christ lying on the shrine and a group of people mourning his death, following Byzantine iconography. The basic figures of the scene, the Virgin Mary at the side hugging her Son, Mary Magdalene, John the disciple, and Joseph lean over Christ in a semicircular scheme. Moreover, the display of some elements like the cross, the stick with the sponge, the spear, and the ladder held by Nicodemos, creates a focal point in the centre of the composition where Christ Amnos is situated. The rhythmic and harmonious arrangement of the composition shows a sophisticated synthesis. This goes in pair with the elongated, elegant faces, despite the fact that the linear facial characteristics confer a somewhat naïve character to the overall expression.

Figure 19. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108

Figure 19. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 39 National Treasures of Georgia, 1999, no. 135.
  • 40 National Treasures of Georgia, 1999, no. 153.
  • 41 Millet, 1947, p. 87-89, fig. clxxvi.2; Johnstone, 1967; Θησαυροί Αγίου Όρους, no. 11.19, 403‑404; (...)
  • 42 Hiera Megistē Monē Vatopaidiou: paradosē, historia, technē, 1996, vol. 2, p. 421-424, Fig. 357.

19Concerning the technique, the low relief embroidery is made on a light blue silk satin. The flesh is made with silk thread in split stitch, while the features are created linearly in the same way (Fig. 20). The garments and other details are made with metal threads or silk thread twisted with metal threads in simple couching. The silk threads are in vivid colours giving a chromatic intensity. In contrast, the body of Christ is made of silver metal thread (Fig. 21), whilst the arms of the men in the scene are made of black or red silk thread twisted with silver metal thread. Examples of this practice are found on a much earlier Georgian 14th-century stole,39 as well as on a belt40 from the 17th century. This practice was initially a Byzantine trait, as found on the epitaphios of the Pantocrator Monastery,41 as well as on the Kantakouzenos’ epitaphios from the Vatopedi monastery42 on Mount Athos. However, in the present state of research we may assume that it appears rarely in Byzantine pieces of art. But it could be supported that this technique disseminated from Byzantium to its eastern periphery, where it developed until more recent times.

Figure 20. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108, detail

Figure 20. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 43 On the winged Saint John the Baptist, see Lafontaine‑Dosogne, 1983, vol. 53, no. 1, p. 78; Vocotopo (...)

20The final vestment that will be presented is a composite work, a petasma (door-hanging) (BXM 21054) (Fig. 22) that depicts St. John the Baptist standing frontally. He appears winged, 43 blessing with his right hand and holding a tablet with his left. The inscription on the tablet reads: METANOEITE ΗΓΓΙΚΕΝ ΓΑΡ Η ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΑ ΤΩΝ ΟΥΡΑΝΩΝ (Repent the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand). St. John the Baptist is depicted wearing a fleece ending in breeches and a himation. On the left there is a bush with an axe (Luke 3, 9) and on the right the saint's decapitated head, encircled by a halo, is placed in a gold basin on a stem. Other inscriptions read: Ιωάννης ο Πρόδρομος (John the Precursor) placed over saint John, Θεοφάνους Ιερομονάχου, Μακαρίου Ιερομονάχου, Δέησις των δούλων του ΘΥ εκ χώρας Βροντούς (Orison of the God’s servants, Hieromonks Theophanis and Makarios from the village of Vrontou) placed on the lower part of the composition.

  • 44 Among the clergy, the belt (ζώνη, cingulum) became a symbol of purity and manliness. The higher cle (...)

21The main scene on the green silk satin is framed on the three sides with metal thread bobbin lace, while the fourth, inferior side is covered by a long and embroidered piece of fabric. This piece of fabric has a typical Ottoman decoration with tulips and carnations and seems to have originally been a hieratic belt (ζώνη, cintula).44 The wide border around the main scene is made of red silk satin textile and is decorated with metal embossed medals.

Figure 21. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108, detail

Figure 21. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

Figure 22. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054

Figure 22. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 45  The facial features, the hair and the beard are rendered in filling stem stitch with light brown, (...)
  • 46 Also found on the 19th century epigonation (BXM 20834), attributed to a Constantinopolitan embroide (...)

22Concerning the technique, the embroidery is flat, the flesh of the standing saint John (face and neck) is made with an off-white, two-ply (S twist) silk thread in filling stem stitch that follows the facial structure, whereas the traits, the hair and the beard show a detailed work in various stitches of silk thread.45 An interesting detail is presented by the very fine cotton (?) tabby under the flesh (Fig. 23), a rather peculiar and unusual kind of padding.46 In other parts of the embroidery, such as the hair and areas covered with metal threads, the padding is made of couched single-ply silk threads.

  • 47 The vivid and colourful outline of the garments’ pleats is a feature widely used in the byzantine e (...)

23Moreover, Saint-John’s limbs are made of wires or metal threads. The legs are covered with groups of gilded wires in basket stitch over a padding of couched silk threads. The arms are made with silver metal threads in basket stitch on a slightly thicker padded layer of couched silk threads. Gilded wires and silver metal threads, both in basket stitch, are used as well for all the other details of the composition (the halo, the himation, the fleece, the wings and the tablet). Smaller details are rendered with silk threads in stem stitch (the feathers, the vestments’ “pleats”,47 the bush) or with pearls (the halo, the feathers, the flowers).

Figure 23. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054, detail

Figure 23. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

24The Baptist’s head in the basin (Fig. 24) shows a different approach in construction. The face is made of an off-white silk satin, whilst the features are made of a dark brown two-ply silk thread in stem stitch linearly applied. Light and dark brown single-ply silk thread in couching stitch is used for the hair and beard. The “blood stains” are made with a two-ply red silk thread in couching stitch. The stem and the interior section of the basin are made of gilded metal threads in zigzag and basket stitch. In contrast, the front part of the basin is made of a combination of a gilded metal thread twisted around a group of gilded wires applied in basket stitch.

Figure 24. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054, detail

Figure 24. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054, detail

Photo: Nikos Mylonas

  • 48 On Byzantine embroidery technique see Papastavrou & Filiou, 2015, p. 164‑166.

25To sum up, the facial and body construction of the St. John the Baptiste embroidered scene is rendered with attentiveness. The technical analysis shows a composite work with a variety in the application of the materials. For example, the construction of the flesh presents three different methods: silk thread embroidery, silk satin textile application and metal thread and wire embroidery. The low relief of the embroidery and the colourful outlines and the garments’ “pleats” show the continuity of the Byzantine tradition.48 On the other hand, the silk threads are mostly two-ply and thicker than in the previously mentioned embroideries. Furthermore, the use of metal threads for the flesh relates this piece to the previously discussed Georgian veil. If we consider all the aforementioned characteristics together with the linearity and the somewhat anti-classical character of the forms, we may assume a relationship of this piece to the artistic tendencies of the Oriental periphery of the ex-Byzantine Empire. Nevertheless, in the present state of the research we are not able to attribute the previously analysed sanctuary curtain to a more specific workshop.

Conclusions

26The above examined art pieces testimony a few of many different currents existing in Greek Orthodox ecclesiastical embroidery of the Ottoman Empire, during the 17th and the 18th centuries. To begin, it has been shown so far that the Constantinopolitan workshops built up their specific character on the Byzantine tradition in compound of different elements from the East and West; at the same time local historical, religious, and spiritual factors contributed to the creation of new iconographic forms and techniques. To continue, another current is connected with embroideries of the Viennese workshops, in great demand within the Greek-Orthodox society, that apply a Western iconography, style and technique on ecclesiastical vestments. Lastly, in the example of a Georgian veil, it has been possible to distinguish partly the embroidery tendencies connected with the Eastern periphery of the previous Byzantine territories reflecting in great extend the Byzantine artistic tradition in combination with anti-classical traits.

27In the course of this study, the manufacture of two pieces, the epitaphios BXM 21381 and the door-hanging BXM 21054, has not been attributed to precise workshops. The iconography and style of the first one are connected with the Eastern Mediterranean artistic trends of the 17th and the 18th centuries; technically, though, it recalls materials and applications of the Western embroidery tradition partly applied in the Viennese works. As for the second one, it demonstrates pictorial and technical affinities to the Georgian veil and hence to the currents of the previous Byzantine East. The open questions about the origin of the two afore mentioned pieces will be answered in the future, if the research continues to consider the iconographic and stylistic characteristics of the embroideries together with the documentation in depth of their technical and material features. This method will help to define the aspects of the different workshops and, of course, ongoing study will bring to light new facts.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

Monographies

Acheimastou Potamianou Myrtali [Αχειμάστου Ποταμιανού Μυρτάλη], 1998, Icons of the Byzantine Museum, Ministry of Culture, Athens, 304 p.

Akopjan Korchmajan Dramjan, 1984, Armenische Buchmalerei des 13. Und 14. Jahrhundert-saus der Matenadaran-Sammlung, Emma, Jerewan.

A Mystery Great and Wondrous [Μυστήριον Μέγα και Παράδοξον] 2002, Exhibition Catalogue, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Ministry of Culture, Church of Greece.

Αρχείο Ι. Μ. Σταυρονικήτα. Επιτομές εγγράφων, 1533-1800 [Archive of the Stavronikita Monastery. Compendium of documents 1533‑1800], 2001, Giannakopoulos Andonis (ed.), National Research Center, Institute of Byzantine Research, Athens.

Baltogianni Chrysanthi [Μπαλτογιάννη Χρυσάνθη], 1986, Εικόνες συλλογής Οικονομοπούλου [Icons of the Oikonomopoulos Collection], Athens.

Belting Hans,1981, Das Bild und sein Publikum im Mittelalter, Gebr. Mann Verlag, Munich.

Byzantium: An Oecumenical Empire, 2001, Catalogue of exhibition, Evangelatou Maria, Papastavrou Elena, Skoti Patricia, Byzantine & Christian Museum, Kapon ed., Athens.

Bilgi Hülya & Zanbak Idil, 2012, … Skill of the hand, delight of the eye. Ottoman Embroideries in the Sanberk Hanim Museum Collection, Sadberk Hanım Museum, Istanbul.

Chatzidakis Manolis ,1985, Icons of Patmos, National Bank of Greece, Athens, 205 p + 207 p. plates.

Chatzoulis Glykeria, 2019, L’épitaphios du Monastère de la Vierge Olympiotissa à Elassona, œuvre de Christophe Zephar. Contribution à la broderie religieuse en or Postbyzantine des ateliers de Vienne du xviiie siècle, Thessaloniki & Paris, Author’s publication.

Davanzo Poli Doretta, 1997, Seta e Oro; la Collezione tessile di Mariano Fortuny, Venice, 202 p.

Ειδική Έκθεση Κειμηλίων Προσφύγων [Special Exhibition of Refugees’ Relics], 1982, Exhibition catalogue, Byzantine and Christian Museum, Ministry of Culture, Athens.

Embroidered Epitaphios Covers in Ioannina, 18th and 19th centuries, 2019, Papastavrou, Elena (ed.), Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, Athens.

Galavaris George [Γαλάβαρης Γιώργος], 1995, Ελληνική Τέχνη. Ζωγραφική Βυζαντινών χειρογράφων [Greek Art. Byzantine Manuscripts Illumination], Εκδοτική Αθηνών [Athens editions], Athens, 279 p.

Ιερά Μεγιστή Μονή Βατοπαιδιού Παράδοση, ιστορία, τέχνη [The Highest Sacred Monastery of Vatopedi: tradition, history, art], 1996, I.M.M. Vatopaidiou, Aghion Oros vol. 2.

Johnstone Pauline, 1967, The Byzantine Tradition in Church Embroidery, Alec Tiranti, London, 118 p.

Korkoulas Konstantinos [Κούρκουλας Κωνσταντίνος], 1991 (2nded.), Τα Ιερατικά άμφια και ο συμβολισμός αυτών εν τη Ορθοδόξω Ελληνική Εκκλησία [The Hieratic Vestments and their Symbolism in Greek Orthodox Church], Argyropoulos, Athens.

Koutloumousianos Bartholomaios [Κουτλουμουσιανός Βαρθολομαίος], 1846, Υπόμνημα της κατά Χάλκην Μονής της Θεοτόκου [Memorandum on the monastery of the Mother of God on Chalki], Τυπογραφείον Αντωνίου Κορομηλά και Πλάτωνος Πασπαλλή [Antonios Koromilas and Platon Paspalli Printers], Constantinople, 188 p.

Le Mont Athos et l’empire byzantin. Trésors de la Sainte Montagne, 2009, Chazal Gilles et Ziadé Raphaëlle (eds.), catalogue d’exposition, Petit Palais, Paris Musées.

Millet Gabriel, 1947, Broderies Religieuses de style byzantin, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, Paris, 87-89, tab. CLXXVI.2; 117 p., 216 planches.

Mylona Zoe, 1998, Museum of Zakynthos, Athens.

National Treasures of Georgia, Soltes Ori Z. (ed), 1999, London, New York, 288 p.

Nikolia Dimitra [Νικολιά Δήμητρα], 2018, Οι τοιχογραφίες του καθολικού της Μονής Σέλτσου 1607 και η μνημιακή ζωγραφική στην Άρτα στο τέλος του 17ου αι. και την αρχή του 18ου αι. [The fresco paintings of the katholicon of the Seltsou monastery (1697) and the monumental painting in Arta at the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th century], Doctoral dissertation, University of Ioannina.

Pallas Demetrios, 1965, Passion und Bestattung Christi in Byzanz. Der Ritus – das Bild, Institut für Byzantinistik und Neugrieschiche Philologie der Üniversitet, Miscell. Byz. Monacensia 2, Munich, 338 p.

Papageorgiou Athanasios [Παπαγεώργιου Αθανάσιος], 1995, Η αυτοκέφαλος εκκλησία της Κύπρου [The Autocephalus Church of Cyprus], Exhibition Catalogue, Byzantine Museum, Foundation of the Archbishop Makarios, Nicosia.

Papastavrou Elena & Filiou Daphni [Παπασταυρου Έλενα & Φιλιου Δάφνη], 2021 (forthcoming), Χρυσοκεντήματα από την Κωνσταντινούπολη στη συλλογή του Βυζαντινού και Χριστιανικού Μουσείου (15ος – 19ος αιώνας) [Gold Embroideries from Constantinople in the Collection of the Byzantine & Christian Museum (15th‑19th Centuries)], A. Stamoulis, Thessaloniki.

Patmos. Treasures of the Monastery, 1988, Kominis Athanasios (ed.), Ekdotiki Athinon, Athens.

Podskalsky Gerhard, 1988, Griechische Theologie in der Zeit der Tuerkenherrschaft, 14531821, C.H. Beck, Germany.

Rousseva Ralitsa (ed.), 2006, National Museum of History, Sofia.

Schiller Gertrud, 1981 (3rd ed), Ikonographie der christlichen Kunst, Guetersloher Verlagshaus, GerdMohn, Germany, vol. 14.

Tezkan Hülya & Okumura Sumiro, 2007, Textile Furnishings from the Topkapi Palace Museum, Vehbi Koç-Vakfı, Istanbul.

Theochari Maria [Θεοχάρη Μαρία], 1986, Εκκλησιαστικά χρυσοκέντητα, [Ecclesiastical gold-thread Embroideries], Αποστολική Διακονία της Εκκλησίας της Ελλάδος [Apostolic Diakonia of the Church of Greece], Athènes.

Treasures of Mount Athos [Θησαυροί Αγίου Όρους], 1997, Exhibition catalogue, Society of Saint Mountain Athos.

Vocotopoulos Panagiotis, 1990, Icons of Kerkyra, National Bank of Greece, Athens.

Papers and contributions to books

Kefala Konstantia, 2004, «Οι δράκοντες των υδάτων. Συμβολή στη μελέτη της εικονογραφίας της Βάπτισης με αφορμή τα παραδείγματα της Δωδεκανήσου» [The Water Dragons. Contribution to the Study of the Iconography of the Baptism Occasioned by Examples in the Dodecanese], in Giannicouri A., Zervoudaki I., Kollias I., Papachristodoulou I. (eds.), Χάρις Χαίρε, Μελέτες στη Μνήμη της Χάρης Κάντζια [Charis Chaire, Studies in the Memory of Charis Kantzia] vol. 2, Ministry of Culture, Athens, p. 420‑433.

Lafontaine Dosogne Jacqueline, 1983, « Une icone d’Angelos au Musée de Malines et l’iconographie du saint Jean‑Baptiste ailé » Byzantion, vol. 53, no. 1, p. 78.

Papastavrou Elena & Filiou Daphni, 2015, “On the Beginnings of the Constantinopolitan School of Embroidery”, Zograf (39), p. 161‑176.

Papastavrou Elena & Vryzidis Nikolaos, 2018, “Sacred Patchwork: Patterns of Textile Reuse in Greek Vestments and Ecclesiastical Veils during the Ottoman Period”, in Yalman Suzan & Jevtić Ivana (eds.), Spolia Reincarnated: Proceedings of the 10th annual Symposium of the Research Center of Anatolian Civilizations, ANAMED Publications, Istanbul, p. 251‑278.

Papastavrou Elena, 2020. “Osmosis in Ottoman Constantinople: The iconography of Greek church embroidery”, in vryzidis Nikolaos (ed.) The Hidden Life of Textiles in the Medieval and Early Modern Mediterranean (Series: Medieval and Post‑Medieval Mediterranean Archaeology 3), Turnhout, Brepols, p. 205‑230.

Theochari Maria [Θεοχάρη Μαρία], 1960, «Χρυσοκέντητα άμφια της Μονής Ταξιαρχών Αιγιαλείας» [Gold Embroidered church Vestments of the Sts. Taxiarchs Monastery in Aigialeia], Αρχαιολογική Εφημερίς, Αρχαιολογικά Χρονικά [Αrchaiologiki Εphimeris], vol. 99, p. 9‑15.

Theochari Maria [Θεοχάρη Μαρία], 1966-1967, «Ἐκ τῶν μεταβυζαντινῶν ἐργαστηρίων τῆς Κωνσταντινουπόλεως. Ἡ κεντήτρια Εὐσεβία», [From the Post-Byzantine Constantinopolitan Workshops. The female embroider Eusebia] Επετηρίς Εταιρείας Βυζαντινών Σπουδών [Epetiris Etaereias Byzantinon Spoudon], p. 227‑242.

Vlachopoulou Karabina Eleni [Βλαχοπουλου Καραμπινα Ελένη], 2010, «Παλαιοί επιτάφιοι των ιερών ναών της πόλεως των Ιωαννίνων (α’ μισό 18ου – αρχές 20ου αιώνα)» [Old epitaphioi from churches in Ioannina (first half of the 18th beginning of the 20th century] Ηπειρωτικά Χρονικά, [Epirotika Chronika] no 44, p. 25‑71.

Vlachopoulou Karabina Eleni [Βλαχοπουλου Καραμπινα Ελένη], 2014, “Viennese Gold Embroideries from the Olympiotissa of Elassona”, Apulum (Series Historia et Patrimonium), Acta Musei Apulensis 51, p. 335‑353.

Haut de page

Notes

1 Papastavrou & Filiou, 2016, p. 161‑176; Papastavrou, 2020, p. 205-230.

2 When Maria Theochari (see Theochari, 1966‑1967, p. 227‑241) included Eusebia to the group of the Constantinopolitan female embroiders, there was no written evidence of her origin. Nevertheless, in the Nicosia Byzantine Museum is kept an epigonation with the representation of the Pantocrator in majesty belonging to the bishop of Cyprus Poimin Philotheos baring the inscription: “Eusebia started the work whereas Mariora completed it” («ΑΡΧΗ ΠΟΝΗΜΑ ΜΕΝ ΕΥΣΕΒΕΙΑΣ ΤΟ ΤΕΛΟΣ ΔΕ ΜΑΡΙΩΡΑΣ»). This inscription brings Eusebia in relation to Mariora, whose tomb is found on the island of Chalki, near Constantinople, cf. Koutloumousianos, 1846, p. 38.

3 In the river we see fishes, an element that occurs also in Byzantine cases, as f.i. in the gospelbook of 1125‑1140, cod. 1, fol. 147b of the Monastery of Mega Spilaeon in Kalavryta, Γαλάβαρης, 1995, p. 137, or usually in the Palaeologan art, as well as in the Post‑Byzantine art, see icon of the 17th century, Baltogianni, 1986, pl. 87.

4 Papastavrou & Vryzidis, 2018, p. 251‑278, fig. 11.

5 Davanzo, 1997, no. 13, no. 45.

6 Tezcan & Okumura, 2007, 53, no. 8 and 54, no. 9.

7 In the Byzantine and Post‑Byzantine art scene of the Baptism, Christ steps on a multitude of little snakes according to an expression of the hymns related to the scene, cf. Menaion, 6 January. Instead, in the Chludov Psalter (9th c.), the illustration accompanying the ps. 74(73) related to the Baptism, shows the convoluted dragon on the right side of the Christ in the Jordan, whereas John the Baptist appears on the left side, Schiller, 1981 (3rd ed). vol. 1, p. 146, 147, fig. 359. Since then, this correlation did not make fortune in Byzantine art, but in Armenian art, Akopjan Korchmajan, 1984, fig. 37; Kefala, 2004, tome. Β΄, p. 420‑433, 426, fig. 6.

8 This controversy mainly concerned Roman Catholic and Armenian converts to Greek Orthodox; the debate was about whether they should receive Orthodox baptism after the baptism they had already received, Podskalsky, 1988, p412‑475, especially p. 416‑417, 431, 482. In this controversy patriarchs also took part, as the defender of anabaptism Cyril v (1748‑1751, 1752‑1757) and his successor and opponent Kallinicos iii (1757).

9 See above, note 7. Both Armenians and Greeks produced embroideries in Constantinople and shared iconographic types and drawings as well as technical features.

10 The group consists of three liturgical veils used as covers; an Ἀήρ (aer: chalice and paten’s veil), a Ποτηροκάλυμμα (chalice’s veil) and a Δισκοκάλυμμα (paten’s veil).

11 For the iconography of the composition see below, notes 31-35.

12 Pallas, 1965; Belting, 1981, figs. 53, 59‑60, 70‑74, 97, 101‑103, 105; Schiller, 2, figs. 718, 720, 734, 735; Chatzidakis, 1985, 88, no. 40, pl. 33, 101 (Man of Sorrow by Nicolaos Tzanfournaris).

13 Schiller, 3, figs. 235, 249.

14 Christ in the chalice is a Eucharistic theme known in Byzantine painting since the 14th c. (church of Evangelistria in Mystra) as well as in the West (Schiller, 2, fig. 60); also, it is widely spread out in the Post-Byzantine painting, Theochari, 1960, p. 9-15, particularly, 11 & 1982, nο 201.

15 See Koutloumousianos, 1846, p. 38.

16 Patmos. Treasures of the Monastery, p. 200, fig. 7.

17 The technique of the flesh made on silk ground fabric while the details are stitched with thread linearly or painted is found in Western embroidery since the medieval period, but it may be rarely also used in Byzantine works; on the issue see Papastavrou & Filiou, 2021 (forthcoming), entry no 9.

18 The Ottoman capital was an artistic centre, where the Top Kapi’s artistic cadre decided on those tendencies that would be promoted in the whole Empire, see Bilgi & Zanbak, 2012, p. 13.

19 Krody, 2000, p. 29.

20 On Viennese workshops see Theochari, 1986, p. 13; Vlachopoulou‑Karabina, 2010, p. 2571, esp. 2740; eadem, 2014, p. 335‑353; Chatzoulis, 2019; Papastavrou, 2019, p. 10 and 16‑21.

21 A Mystery Great and Wondrous, p. 368.

22 See an epitaphios of 1796, made by Marina Ruheland today kept in the National Museum of History in Sofia, National Museum of History, no 145.

23 Chatzoulis, 2019.

24 Archive of the Stavronikita Monastery. Compendium of documents 1533-1800, 2001, 128, no. 69: «Γράμμα του Γεωργίου Καστρισίου στο μητροπολίτη Σταυρουπόλεως Γρηγόριο στο Βουκουρέστι για τη μίτρα του επισκόπου Ριμνίκου» Letter of Georgios Kastrisios to the Metropolitan of Stavroupolis Gregory in Bucharest. The letter is addressed from Vienna by Kastrisios to the metropolitan Gregory in Bucharest, and is dated 27 March 1795. In this document we learn about the details of the materials to be used as well as of the shape and cost for the confection of the mitre of the bishop of Rimniko (in Wallachia). We are grateful to Nikolaos Vryzidis for pointing out this reference.

25 In the Byzantine & Christian Museum’s Photographic Archive a photograph (Inv. Nr. XAE 3378) depicts an epitaphios from the Metropolitan Cathedral of Agioi Theodoroi in Serres on which the inscription confirms the place and date of confection as follows: VIENNE, 1774.

26 Tirtir is made of wire, strip or metal thread twisted in spiral.

27 The Epitaphios’ inscription reads: ΑΦΙΕΡΩΘΗ ΠΑΡΑ ΓΕΩΡΓΙΟΥ ΚΡΟΜΥΔΗ ΕΝ ΕΤΕΙ 1780” (DEDICATED BY GEORGE KROMMYDIS IN THE YEAR 1780). The commissioner, George Krommydis was a scholar and author from Ioannina, who emigrated to Russia and worked there as a trader. Adamantios Korais greatly appreciated the contribution of Krommydis to literature, see Papastavrou, 2019, p. 10 and 16-21.

28 Chatzoulis in this volume « À propos d’un epitrachilion de 1664 de la Métropole de Trikkis et Stagon attribué à la broderie de l’École de Constantinople ».

29 The inscription reads “+ΚΤΗΜΑ ΤΟΥ ΤΑΠΕΙΝΟΥ ΜΗΤΡΟΠΟΛΙΤOΥ ΒΑΡΝΗΣ ΦΙΛΟΘΕΟΥ ΣΙΦΝΙΟΥ ΑΨΥς΄” (POSSESSION OF THE HUMBLE BISHOP OF VARNA PHILOTHEOS SIFNIOS 1796).

30 This polos is an 18th century constantinopolitan embroidery. see Byzantine & Christian Museum, Papastavrou, “Embroiderers, Embroideresses & Embroideries in Constantinople (17th-19th c.)”, Diary 2018, (BXM 21381 and BXM 21078). Papastavrou & Filiou 2021 (forthcoming), entries no. 11 and 28.

31 Mylona, 1998, p. 271, no. 111, icon with Christ lying on the stone of the tomb, and two kneeling angels on each side, dated to the beginning of the 16th c.

32 Vrachimis’s epitaphios (end of the 17th century). The veil was bought in Constantinople by the Cypriot trader Vrachimis who was active in Venice; now it is kept in the church of St. Marina Analiondas, see Papageorgiou, 1995. Also the above mentioned aer BXM 21103, Fig. 8.

33 See the antimension BXM 20791 dated to 1801, Karapli & Papastavrou, 2014, pp. 227‑228, Fig. 11.

34 See the detail of the angel in the Thessaloniki epitaphios: Museum of Byzantine Culture (mbp.gr).

35 The angels in the Crucifixion, painter from the circle of Paolo Venziano, Muraro, 1970, Fig. 43; Byzantium: an Oecumenical Empire, Nr 173.

36 Papastavrou, 2019, photo on p. 21 and on the front cover.

37 The access to the reverse of the embroidery would be illuminating regarding the species of the stitch, but it has not been possible.

38 The writers would like to cordially thank Dr. Aftandil Mikaberidze, Director of the Institute of Georgian Studies (Athens), for reading and translating the inscriptions of the veil. The second inscription refers to the liturgical poem (kondakion) read on Good Friday.

39 National Treasures of Georgia, 1999, no. 135.

40 National Treasures of Georgia, 1999, no. 153.

41 Millet, 1947, p. 87-89, fig. clxxvi.2; Johnstone, 1967; Θησαυροί Αγίου Όρους, no. 11.19, 403‑404; Chazal, Zyade, 2009, no. 113, 226, Fig. p. 229.

42 Hiera Megistē Monē Vatopaidiou: paradosē, historia, technē, 1996, vol. 2, p. 421-424, Fig. 357.

43 On the winged Saint John the Baptist, see Lafontaine‑Dosogne, 1983, vol. 53, no. 1, p. 78; Vocotopoulos, 1990, p. 122‑123; AcheimastouPotamianou, 1998, p. 104, no. 28; Nicolia, 2018, p. 237-238, fig. 134, with bibliography.

44 Among the clergy, the belt (ζώνη, cingulum) became a symbol of purity and manliness. The higher clerical orders wore the belts over the sticharion and the epitrachelion symbolizing Aaron’s holy belt, see Kourkoulas, 1991 (2nd ed.), p. 54; Papastavrou & Vryzidis, 2018, p. 259‑286, especially, 271‑273, 286. Regarding the technique, the belt is made of gilded wires on a cotton tabby.

45  The facial features, the hair and the beard are rendered in filling stem stitch with light brown, two-ply silk thread. As for the outlines and shadowing of the face a dark brown, two-ply silk thread in both couching stitch and stem stitch is used whilst, the lips and the cheeks are made of red, single-ply silk thread.

46 Also found on the 19th century epigonation (BXM 20834), attributed to a Constantinopolitan embroidery workshop belonging to the Byzantine and Christian Museum’s Collection, see Papastavrou & Filiou, 2021 (forthcoming), entry No 23.

47 The vivid and colourful outline of the garments’ pleats is a feature widely used in the byzantine embroidery tradition that has been passed down to the Eastern workshops, see Papastavrou  & Filiou, 2015, figs. 7c, 8c.

48 On Byzantine embroidery technique see Papastavrou & Filiou, 2015, p. 164‑166.

Haut de page

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Epigonation BXM 1711, by the female embroiderer Eusebia
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 410k
Titre Figure 2. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 862k
Titre Figure 3. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 743k
Titre Figure 4. Epigonation BXM 1711, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 677k
Titre Figure 5. Liturgical veil, aer, BXM 21103
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 649k
Titre Figure 6. Paten’s veil BXM 21116
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 526k
Titre Figure 7. Chalice’s veil BXM 21145
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 471k
Titre Figure 8. Liturgical veil, aer, BXM 21103, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-8.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 676k
Titre Figure 9. Liturgical veil, epitaphios
Crédits Photo: Byzantine & Christian Museum’s Photographic Archive (Inv. Nr. XAE 3378)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-9.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 711k
Titre Figure 10. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina
Crédits Photo: Kostas Liougos
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-10.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 692k
Titre Figure 11. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, detail, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina
Crédits Photo: Kostas Liougos
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-11.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 709k
Titre Figure 12. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion in Ioannina, detail
Crédits Photo: Kostas Liougos
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-12.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 718k
Titre Figure 13. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Archimandreion, Ioannina, detail
Crédits Photo: Kostas Liougos
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-13.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 724k
Titre Figure 14. Liturgical veil, epitaphios, church of Perivleptos, Ioannina
Crédits Photo: Kostas Liougos
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-14.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 722k
Titre Figure 15. Stole (epitrachelion) BXM 1710
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-15.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 270k
Titre Figure 16. Stole (epitrachelion) BXM 1710, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-16.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 878k
Titre Figure 17. Liturgical veil, epitaphios BXM 21381
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-17.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 302k
Titre Figure 18. Liturgical veil, epitaphios BXM 21381, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-18.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 488k
Titre Figure 19. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-19.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 596k
Titre Figure 20. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-20.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 414k
Titre Figure 21. Liturgical veil, epitaphios/aer BXM 21108, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-21.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 477k
Titre Figure 22. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-22.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 225k
Titre Figure 23. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-23.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 416k
Titre Figure 24. Door-hanging, petasma BXM 21054, detail
Crédits Photo: Nikos Mylonas
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/docannexe/image/18619/img-24.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 371k
Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Elena Papastavrou et Daphni Filiou, « From Constantinople to Vienna: On the Different Tendensies in Greek Orthodox Ecclesiastical Embroidery (17th‑18th Centuries) »Cahiers balkaniques [En ligne], 48 | 2021, mis en ligne le 24 décembre 2021, consulté le 16 janvier 2022. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/ceb/18619 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/ceb.18619

Haut de page

Auteurs

Elena Papastavrou

Ephorate of Antiquities of Zakynthos, Hellenic Ministry of Culture

Articles du même auteur

Daphni Filiou

Byzantine and Christian Museum, Hellenic Ministry of Culture

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

Licence Creative Commons
Cahiers balkaniques est mis à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d’Utilisation Commerciale 4.0 International.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search