Byzantine Arts

The painting of icons has a special place in Byzantine art just as icons have a special function in the Greek Orthodox religion. The figures of Christ are painted directly on wood panels or on cloth. The cloth used is usually linen or cotton and it is glued on to wooden panels. Very occasionally parchment glued on to wooden panels is used instead of cloth. Unlike the decorations on the walls or vaults of a church which are seen from a distance, icon painting creates figures which are in close proximity to the beholder. The faithful pray before the icons and kiss them. Thus the icon is not an ordinary painting but rather a cult object bringing the faithful close to the person or persons depicted on it. Through the icon the world of senses communicates with the supernatural, the visible with the invisible. The technique therefore required for the painting of icons is different of that of a wall painting.

This is a journey through Byzantine icons, that were painted and exhibited in Cyprus, from the early Byzantine period (4th-7th centuries) until the period of the first turkish occupation (1570-1878).

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