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Athos Holy Mount

Athonite Paper Icons
4.2 Panorama of Mount Athos
1770 (?)
Collection of Simonopetra Monastery
Obverse of a double-sided engraved copperplate
26.6 x 36.5 cm
Engraved on Mount Athos
Engraver: Unknown


The Original New Testament

This is a small-scale panorama of Mount Athos engraved by an unsophisticated craftsman. The icon of the Virgin holding the Christ Child on her right arm stands between the two mountain peaks of Athos. A sun in the west and another in the east fill the two upper corners with their rays, and the mountain ridges are crowned with rows of cypress trees. The monasteries and sketae are very roughly drawn, with their names in bubbles above them. The usual religious procession descends from Vatopedi, and above the Great Lavra the miracle of the Virgin and St Athanasios is depicted. Between the monasteries there are crudely engraved areas of cultivated land. In the sea two imaginary monsters disport themselves between a galleon and fishing boats manned by monks. The inscriptions at the left are in Greek and Slavonic.

The work, engraved on the other side of the copperplate with the icon of the Virgin (paper icon no. 4.3) dated to 1770, copies earlier works engraved abroad with regard to the composition, but differs significantly in technique and style. Here the landscape lacks depth, the lines are crudely dawn and in general the style conforms to the folk character of the post-Byzantine icons of its time.

The two works on this double-sided copperplate may be the first ones engraved on Mount Athos.

Bibliography: Papastratou 1986, no. 425.

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18th century

The Authentic Greek New Testament Bilingual New Testament I

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