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Fernando Marías

[Theotokopoulos, Domenikos [Dominico ; Dominikos ; Menegos ]]

(b Candia [now Herakleion], Crete, c. 1541; d Toledo, April 7, 1614).

Greek painter, designer, and engraver, active in Italy and Spain. One of the most original and interesting painters of 16th-century Europe, he transformed the Byzantine style of his early paintings into another, wholly Western manner. He was active in his native Crete, in Venice, and Rome, and, during the second half of his life, in Toledo. He was renowned in his lifetime for his originality and extravagance and provides one of the most curious examples of the oscillations of taste in the evaluation of a painter, and of the changes of interpretation to which an artist’s work can be submitted.

El Greco appears to have belonged to a Greek Orthodox—more than to a Catholic Greek—family of officials who worked for the Venetian colonial service; his father was a tax-collector, and an elder brother combined this activity with that of trader and privateer. It is not known with whom El Greco trained, although ...

Article

Anne-Mette Gravgaard, Nano Chatzidakis and Olga Etinhof

Term used to describe the art of Orthodox Christianity that developed after the fall of Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453 and the dissolution of the Byzantine empire.

Anne-Mette Gravgaard

The Orthodox world post-1453 can be divided into three main spheres: the Athonite sphere, consisting of Orthodox territories under Turkish rule; the Venetian sphere, consisting of Venice’s possessions in the eastern Mediterranean; and the peripheral sphere, consisting primarily of Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Moldavia (partly Moldova, partly Romania), Wallachia (now in Romania) and Georgia.

The Athonite sphere was dominated by two great centres of Orthodox monasticism, Meteora and Mt Athos. The economic basis for undertaking monumental and icon painting was weaker than in previous centuries; there were no imperial or wealthy aristocratic patrons left, and, even though the Ottoman authorities did not interfere with spiritual matters, the Orthodox population was often harassed by financial exactions. The expensive production of mosaics had already ceased in the 14th century. The main aims of the Church were to survive and to safeguard Orthodoxy. This was reflected in a pronounced conservatism towards art and in persistent efforts to keep it free from Western contamination....

Article

Monique Riccardi-Cubitt

French term used to describe artefacts made in Turkey, or in France by Turkish craftsmen, and by derivation the influence on French design of elements from the Byzantine Empire, the Saljuq Islamic period and the Ottoman Empire. Specific motifs, borrowed from the original Turkish carpets, included arabesques or stylized flowers and vegetal scrolls and decorative animal forms—also included within the generic term ‘grotesques’—from the Renaissance onwards. From the Middle Ages inventories and accounts record objects façon de Turquie imported from the East through the Crusades or the Silk route. In the accounts (1316) of Geoffroi de Fleuri, treasurer to King Philippe V of France, ‘11 cloths of Turkey’ were noted, and in 1471 the inventory of the château of Angers records a wooden spoon and a cushion ‘à la façon de Turquie’. In the 16th century Turkish textiles were highly prized, and Turkish craftsmen were employed in Paris to embroider cloth for ladies’ dresses: in ...