Reference address :

ELPENOR - Home of the Greek Word

Athos Holy Mount

Portable Icons
2.52 St Peter (Great Deesis)
Wood, egg tempera, 116.5 x 94 cm
Cretan School


The Original New Testament

St Peter is depicted from the waist up, turning to the right. He wears a deep blue tunic and brown himation with broad areas of olive-green and white highlights. In his left hand he holds the keys of Heaven and a half-open scroll with the inscription: 'Blessed be the Lord'. In the left-hand part of the gold ground is the inscription: 'St Peter'.

Peter's face is oval and rendered with sharp chiaroscuro. The underpainting is done in brown and takes the form of a stark shadow on the cheeks, the brow, and the wings of the nose. The flesh is a pinkish ochre highlighted with white striations on the brow, the cheeks, the tip of the nose, and the neck, in a manner common to the Cretan School. The hair is depicted schematically with a dry linearity and the drapery is rendered in much the same way as that of St Paul (no. 2.53) and the archangels (nos. 2.50-2.51). On the basis of stylistic criteria, this icon of St Peter may be attributed to Zorzis, who learned his art on Mount Athos, probably under Theophanis (see no. 2.53).

Bibliography: Chatzidakis 1956, pp. 283-4, pl. ΚΣΤ΄. Chatzidakis 1969-70, pp. 326-7. Borboudakis 1993, pp. 11-13, fig. 16.

Index of exhibits of Protato
16th century

The Authentic Greek New Testament Bilingual New Testament I

Icon of the Mother of God and New Testament Reader Promote Greek Learning
Three Millennia of Greek Literature

Learned Freeware


Reference address :