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BYZ2520 [No. 00] Icon with the Evangelist Matthew Byzantine (Thessalonike or Ohrid), ca.

1295 Tempera and gold on wood 105 x 56.5 x 3 cm (41 3/8 x 221/4 x 13/16 in.)
INSCRIBED:

Flanking the halo, ΟΑΓ[ΙΟ]C ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟC (Saint Matthew)
PROVENANCE:

Church of the Virgin Peribleptos, Ohrid. [When did it enter the Icon Gallery?-if important, all the icons entered the Gallery in 1983, when it was established] Icon Gallery, Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia (3) Composed in a clear and effective manner with powerful shapes, this icon of the evangelist and apostle Matthew has a distinct artistic quality and expressiveness. The author of the first Gospel is portrayed at full length and in semi-profile, taking a step forward with his right leg, and holding his own book in his left hand. Against the dark-complexioned face light flickers, and it vividly glows on the rich folds of the garment. Everything is subordinated to the rhythm of the apostle's sturdy walk. The impressive figure is engrossed in his book, bypassing the beholder. The drawing reveals an excellent knowledge of human anatomy, and movement is felt under the folds of cloth. The coloringrendered partially intermittent by the green chiton covering the right arm and chest-emanates warmth and harmony. The background, a monochromatic pale ocher, was left unfinished probably because the icon was to be adorned with a revetment. No doubt the artist relied on the techniques of fresco painting; however, the style clearly reflects general Constantinopolitan tendencies of the last years of the thirteenth century. The manner of the brushwork and the saint's head bring to mind certain fresco images in the Church of the Virgin Peribleptos in Ohrid, where this icon was originally displayed. Accordingly, it has been ascribed to Eutychios, one of the artists who executed frescoes there. This attribution is quite possible in chronological terms; however, not a single fresco by Eutychios within the church is comparable in its beauty and artistic quality to the icon of Saint Matthew. MG 1. Miljkovic-Pepek 1954, pp. 34, 46-47, pl. 5.
REFERENCES:

Koco1949, no. 5; Blazic 1952, p. 82; MiljkovicPepek 1954, pp. 34, 46-47, pl. 5; Felicetti-Liebenfels 1956, p.186; Blazic 1957, pp. 7-12; Macan 1959, p. 74; Bihalji-Merin 1960, fig. 68; Ljubinkovic and Corovic-Ljubinkovic 1961, p. 124; Djuric1961, no. 7, pp.78-79, pl. ix ; Radojcic 1962, pp. x-xi; Paris 1965, no. 8; Miljkovic-Pepek 1967a, pp. 218-20, pi. 188; Miljkovic-Pepek 1967b, pp. 297-303; Tokyo-Kyoto 1967, no. 7; Balabanov 1969, fig. 20; Weitzmann et al. 1970, pp. (pages) LX, XC, figs. 168-169: Paris 1971, no. 282; Radojcic 1971, p. 282, pl. 282; Sarajevo 1971, no. 282; Babic 1980, p. 21, fig. 16; Balabanov 1983, p. 95, figs. 43-44; Miljkovic-Pepek 1984, p. 186; Tatic-Djuric 1984, no. 10; Vatican 1986, no. 21; Balabanov 1995, pp. 188-89, no. 11; Georgievski 1999, pp. 5-6, no. 10; Paris 1999b, no. 20; Rome 1999b, no. 20; Krakow 2000, no. 3.