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by Archaeology Newsroom

The influence of the miniatures of the manuscript of Kokkinovaphos on the wall -painting of Dilios.Two examples

The Monastery of Hagios Nicolaos Dilios was built in the 13th century AD on the island of the Lake of Ioannina and was decorated with superb frescoes in 1543. The frescoes of the Catholikon are important not only for their artistic quality but primarily for their iconography. The 23 scenes of the narthex dedicated to the Life and Death of the Virgin as well as the iconographic relation of a number of scenes with the miniatures of the 12th century manuscript of Jacob Kokkinovaphos contribute to the unique character of this wall-painted humble church. The number of scenes places the monument among the three first of Orthodoxy exhibiting such a rich cycle of the Life of the Virgin. While the close iconographic relation between the frescoes and the manuscript, ranging from characteristic details – such as the youngest son of Joseph in the scene of the arrival of the Virgin at the House of the Elect – to entire scenes – such as the thanksgiving prayer of Anna – distinguishes the painting of the narthex as a “direct” successor of the tradition of the manuscript. The case is of exceptional importance since the two works were executed in areas distant from one another (northern Greece – Asia Minor), in different media, in the 16th and 12th century respectively. Moreover, we lack until now any intermediary work of painting that could serve as a link in time or space between the miniatures and the frescoes.