«Η θεραπεία της αυτοκράτειρας ζωής» : μια απόπειρα εικονογραφικής, εικονολογικής και ιστορικής τεκμηρίωσης ενός σπάνιου θρησκευτικού θέματος φορητής εικόνας του 19ου αιώνα από τη Θεσσαλονίκη

Ιλιάνα Ζάρρα

Abstract


The subject of this study is a rare religious scene in a portable icon from the
Church of St Athanasios in Thessaloniki. The representation shows the Emperss Zoë,
wife of Leo VI the Wise, being rid of an unclean spirit by the miraculous agency of
the Holy Girdle. The miracle is mentioned in a text of the early 10th century
concerning the provenance of two relics of the Virgin, her maphorion and her girdle.
The icon dates to 1982 and is unsigned. For stylistic reasons we ascribe it to the religious
painter Mitakos Hadzistamatis, who came from Kolakia and was active in
central Macedonia from the mid-19th century to 1899. He settled in Thessaloniki tin
1885.
There are only two other examples of the same composition, both portable icons from Crete, one painted by Emmanouil Dzanes, the other by the circle of Theodoras
Poulakis, and both dating to the second half of the 17ht century. Consequently,
questions regarding the source of inspiration and the development and significance of
the subject led our research to the literature of that period and the traditions
connected with the death of the Virgin. However, it may not be far from the truth to
assert that the specific iconographical format of the Thessaloniki icon is duy to the
creative initiative of the artist who painted it, Mitakos Hadzistamatis.
An Iconographical and Historical Approach to a Rare Religious Theme in a Nineteenth-century Portable Icon from Thessaloniki

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