Creator

Preview

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Creation Date

1861

Geography

Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey; Mount Athos, Greece

Culture

Post-Byzantine, Greek, Orthodox

Medium

Paper, twine, ink

Dimensions

10 × 6 × 3/4 in. (25.4 × 15.2 × 2 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase by the Department of Art History, 2022

Accession Number

2022.60

Provenance

Purchased by the Department of Art History via Ebay (user: vasia614) on March 9, 2022. According to the seller, who is from Greece, this book belonged to their neighbor, Antonis Prokos (Αντώνης Πρόκος) (1912–1993), a poet. The book was discarded with other items after his death, and recovered by the seller.

Condition

Poor quality, shoddily bound together with twine centered in the middle of the spine. The cover is missing, and various pages differ in size. The pages are delicate, and worn, and covered in various stains.The edges of the paper are ripped and aged. September 2022. - Raya Kenney ('25)

References

Ανωτέρα επισκίασις επί του Άθω : Ήτοι διηγήσεις περί των Αγίων και Θαυματουργών και εν Άθω δοξασθεισών Εικόνων της Θεοτόκου και άλλων Αγίων. Εν Κωνσταντινουπόλει : Εκ του Τυπογραφίου της Βουλγαρικής Εφημερίδος :"Τσαρεγράδσκη Βέστνηκ" και Συντρ., 1861. A scanned version of this copy held at the University of Crete is available at this link.

Creator Biography

The printing press of the Bulgarian newspaper, Constantinople News (Tsaregradski Vestnik), Constantinople

Description

This book describes thirty-one miracle-working icons owned by the monasteries of Mount Athos, Greece. Each chapter includes a lithograph print and a brief description of the miracles that the icon has performed. One of these chapters features the icon of the Virgin Gerontissa, a miraculous image held at the Pantokrator Monastery. This image of the Mother of God received the appellation Gerontissa (“Our Lady of the Elder) when it miraculously spoke and commanded a younger monk to follow the orders of an elder monk.

The Mother of God is shown in her entirety, touching the frame from top to bottom. She stands, turns, and gestures to the left. She is draped in decorative robes; her hands emerge from the folds and extend from her body. A vase, overflowing with oil, sits at her slippered feet. Its abundance is meant to reference another miracle in which the monastery's oil jars were miraculously filled after the abbot prayed in front of this icon. A giant halo, encrusted with precious gems, surrounds her head. There is a sense of openness about the image; her gaze is turned outward, toward the viewer, but the eye contact is not direct. Her intercessory hand gestures greet us, and acknowledge our presence; it is as though she is waiting for the viewer to interact with her. Her reverence and power are evident.

Raya Kenney ('25) for ARHS 291 Museum Object (Fall 2022).

2022.60_002.jpg (1059 kB)
Icon of the Theotokos Gerontissa

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