From the Roman West to the Latin East: Tales and Adventures of a Cretan Icon

Icon with St. Martin. Petit Palais, Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Roger Cabal Bequest, 1998 (PPP04870)

Date: Oct 27, 2015 Time: 3:30 PM–5:15 PM Location: The Greek Institute Address: 1038 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138

Ioanna Christoforaki follows the trail of a Cretan icon.

Ruled by the Venetians since 1211, the island of Crete remained a possession of the Doge until 1669, when it was captured by the Ottoman Turks. By the early 15th century, its capital city, Candia (modern-day Heraklion), was brimming with icon painters, famous for their ability to paint either in a ‘Greek’ or ‘Latin’ manner, according to the demands of both their Orthodox and Catholic clientele.

What did these icons look like? And where did the painters get the models from? Following the adventures of one such icon, we shall trace the visual transformation of a purely western saint into a Byzantine one, by unraveling the various layers, meanings, and symbols hidden in an otherwise unassuming image of an Orthodox saint.

Sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center for Byzantine Art and Culture and The Greek Institute.

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