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Byzantine Tradition and Western Influences in Orthodox Religious Icon Painting in the city of Chania (Crete) in the 20th century

Kouroutaki Alexandra

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Year 2020
Type of Item Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication
Bibliographic Citation Α. Κουρουτάκη, «Βυζαντινή παράδοση και δυτικές επιδράσεις στην Ορθόδοξη ζωγραφική θρησκευτικών εικόνων στην πόλη των Χανίων (Κρήτη) κατά τον 20ό αιώνα,» Θεολογία, τ. 91, τεύχ. 4, σελ. 85-115, Οκτ. 2020.
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The current study is an overview of the aesthetic quests and orientations in iconography, in the city of Chania, in the 20th century. The specific character of an inspired local iconography and the relations it developped both with the Byzantine artistic tradition and the Western naturalist painting are highlighted. The research method seeks to identify the tendencies between byzantine tradition and modernity (western influences) both on the fields of iconography and style, on selected religious artworks, in three historical churches of the city of Chania: the Cathedral of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary, the church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (Evangelistria) and the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene. This critical review is based on the specific terminology of Art history.This research study consists of three distinct parts. In the 1st part, a brief historical review on the introduction of western models in iconography in Crete is presented with referenceto some western-style iconographers who marked the passage to the 20th century. The 2nd part outlines the evolution of the aesthetic orientations in iconography in Chania, during the first decades of the 20th century. More specifically, the influence of the Nazarin neo-Renaissance art on autochtonous iconographers is explored. Finally, the decisive return to the sources of Byzantine artistic tradition, after 1950, is highlighted. In this context, the despotic icons created by Fotis Kontoglou for the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene are descripted, for the first time in bibliography.

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