Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Agioi Anargiroi - Kastoria

One of the most ancient churches in Kastoria, the three-aisled, initially a tile-roof basilica with a narthex (the space in front of the main church), Agioi Anargyroi is located at the northern side of the city. The narthex is linked to the church that has three arcades, the most southern of which is not used since the Byzantine era. The decoration of the church’s facades includes alternations of shapes of ceramic bricks and irregular stones as well as marbles. 

The interior of the church has two layers of wall paintings. The first is dated back to early 11th century, while the second one in the 1180-90 decade and depicts the founder, Thodoros Limniotis together with his wife, Anna Radini, and their son, Ioannis, offering the model of the church to Virgin Mary. The decoration of the church is attributed to three artist of different origins. The most significant frescoes are said to have been painted by an anonymous painter that scholars have named as “A”. 

The figures are delicate, very tall, with flowing pleats, very close to the body. Moreover, he has painted the faces so as to show emotionally intense expressions. The researchers link this technique to the so-called “dynamic” method, works of which can be found in Macedonia, Crete, Sicily, Cyprus and Russia. The fact that the specific technique has been applied at areas that are far away from each other, indicates that it had flourished at some great artistic center of Constantinople.

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