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BYZ2530 [No.

00] Two-sided icon with the Virgin Psychosotria (front) and the Annunciation (back) Byzantine (Constantinople), early 14th century Tempera with gold ground on wood, with silver-gilt and enamel revetment 93 x 68 cm (36 5/8 x 26 3/4 in.)
INSCRIBED:

Front: In the roundels, Μ(ΗΤΗ)Ρ Θ(ΕΟ)Υ (Mother of God) and Ι(ΗCΟΥ)C Χ(ΡΙCΤΟ)C (Jesus Christ) in the rectangular plaques, Η ΨΥΧΟCΩ(CΤ)ΡΙΑ. (Savior of souls). Back: Ο ΧΑΙΡΕΤΙCΜΟC (Annunciation), Ο (ΑΡ)Χ<ΑΓΓΕΛΟC> ΓΑΒΡΙΗΛ (Archangel Gabriel) and Μ(ΗΤΗ)Ρ Θ(ΕΟ)Υ (Mother of God).
PROVENANCE:

Church of the Virgin Peribleptos, Ohrid

Icon Gallery, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia (10) This two-sided icon is a fine example of contemporary artistic tendencies in the Byzantine capital during the Late Byzantine period. The half-length figure of the Virgin appears on the front of the icon. Her solemn, perfectly preserved face expresses a mild severity. She holds the infant Christ, whose head is covered with pale reddish locks. Busts of the archangels Michael and Gabriel are portrayed in the corners at the top of the icon. The entire background and the frame are covered with an elaborate silver-gilt revetment, which is a masterpiece in itself. Together with geometric and floral ornaments, such as stylized rosettes, it is adorned with meticulously cast figures in relief. The image of the Virgin is surrounded by a frame crested in the middle with the bust of Christ Pantokrator, flanked by symmetrically arranged busts of the prophets Aaron, Gideon, Ezekiel, Daniel and Habakkuk, the righteous Jacob, and an attached medallion of Saint John Chrysostom. The Virgin bears the appellation Psychosostria, a variation of the Virgin Hodegetria. When Nikodim P. Kondakov wrote about this icon in 1909, he mentioned the existence of a monastery of the same name in Constantinople. According to charters kept on Mount Athos, the emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos bestowed the Constantinopolitan monastery of the Virgin Psychosostria upon Gregory I, archbishop of Ohrid, at the beginning of the fourteenth century. It is very likely that this icon arrived in Ohrid during the time when the monastery was administered from Ohrid by the abbot Galaktion. On the back of the icon is the scene of the Annunciation, and it is considered to be among the best achievements of Byzantine icon painting of the Palaiologan renaissance. The figures of the archangel Gabriel and the Virgin are portrayed skillfully. They are set as statues on pedestals in a defined space against a harsh architectural backdrop. A play of contrasts is achieved by setting off the bright garment of the archangel against the Virgin's almost entirely dark maphorion. The visages are enveloped in a soft shadow, barely foretelling

MiljkovicPepek 1984. Kondakov 1909. Rice 1968b. no. no. Radojcic 1962. Kasanin 1943. Paris 1971. Dalton 1911. pp. 17. 77-78. p. p. 2. Georgievski 1999. 27. pp. figs. 12. 38-39. 185. 16. Djuric 1961. 78-79. pp. 237. Blazic 1957. 22. 6-7. 223-224. 2. 108-9. fig. nos. pls. XVII-XXI. pp. 199. pp. Paris 1965. Filov 1924. vol. p. pp. 7.a mystery below the imaginary gold heaven. 253-55. 159. Babic 1980. no. 65-67. no. p. Kondakov 1914-15. pp. Corovic-Ljubinkovic 1953. figs. 11. 18-19. Padua 2000-2001. 238-39. pp. 68-70. pp. 13. . LXXXIX. Sarajevo 1971. 71. pis. figs. 1970. 26. pp. Weitzmann et al. Snegarov 1943. pp.30. 23-29. figs. MG 1. Grabar 1975b. fig. pp. pp. Rome 1999b. Mazalic 1939. 88. Diehl 1925-26. 121-22. Paris 1999b. no. 47-48. Ljubinkovic 1952. vol. 26. nos. xvi. p. p. 14. p. Balabanov 1983. D. 287. 253. p. 26-27. 81-82. 20-22. p. p. Vatican 1986. pl. 52. T. Balabanov 1995. 17-18. Balabanov 1969. fig. no. Macan 1959. 82. 191-93. 21. Ammann 1957.83-84. pp. 116. Ljubinkovic and CorovicLjubinkovic 1961. REFERENCES: Kondakov 1909. no. no. 16-17. pp. 126. fig. p. pl. 97. 8. 287. FelicettiLiebenfels 1956. Tatic-Djuric 1984. Radojcic 1975. figs. 57. (pages) LXII. 869-70. no. Bihalji-Merin 1958. p. xi. pp. 24. 35. 2.