The Painter Angelos and Icon-Painting in Venetian Crete: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Painter Angelos and Icon-Painting in Venetian Crete

1st Edition

By Maria Vassilaki


382 pages

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The sixteen studies in this book include six specially translated from Greek and another two published here for the first time. They deal with the art of painting in Crete at a time when the island was under Venetian rule. The main emphasis is on the 15th century and especially on the painter Angelos. More than thirty icons with his signature survive, and at least twenty more can be reliably attributed to him. Angelos was the most significant artist of a particularly significant era. It was at this time that the centre of artistic production migrated from Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire to Candia, the capital of Venetian-occupied Crete. These studies try to reconstruct the personality of this late Byzantine painter, Angelos, not only through his icons but also through his will (1436), now in the State Archives in Venice. In this context they also explore the status of the Cretan painter in society. The large number of extant Cretan icons clearly indicates the striking increase in production from the 15th century onwards. Similarly, archival documents are used to examine the trade of icons in Crete and the way Cretan artists had to organize their workshops in order to meet the requirements of the market.

Table of Contents

Contents: Part 1 The Painter Angelos: The painter Angelos Akotantos: his work and his will (1436); New evidence on the painter Angelos Akotantos; From the 'anonymous' Byzantine artist to the 'eponymous' Cretan painter of the 15th century; Painting and painters in Venetian Crete; St Phanourios: cult and iconography; A Cretan icon in the Ashmolean: the embrace of Peter and Paul; A Cretan icon of St George; An icon of St George on horseback killing the dragon by the painter Angelos: a recent acquisition of the Benaki Museum; The hand of Angelos? Part 2 On Cretan Painting: Some observations on early 15th century painting in Crete; Some Cretan icons in the Walters Art Gallery; The reconstruction a triptych; An icon of the entry into Jerusalem and a question of archetypes, prototypes and copies in late and post-Byzantine icon-painting. Part 3 The Cretan Painter at Work: The icon trade in 15th-century Venetian Crete; Workshop practices and working drawings of icon-painters; On the technology of post-Byzantine icons; Epilogue; Index.

About the Author

Maria Vassilaki is Associate Professor of the History of Byzantine Art at the University of Thessaly, Greece, and Scientific Advisor at the Benaki Museum in Athens.

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / History / General