An Icon Painter in Venetian Crete
The Hand of Angelos
A tumultuous period in history, the late Byzantine era bore witness to bloody power struggles that dramatically changed the geographical, political and social landscape of a region and its people. Among the many shifts during this time of flux was the switch of major artistic production from Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, to Candia, the capital of Venetian-occupied Crete. Exploring the life and work of Angelos Akotantos, the most significant artist active in Venetian Crete, The Hand of Angelos provides groundbreaking insights into a key figure and the period in which he worked. Offering contextual discussion, the authors, all experts in their fields, cover a range of themes including the contrasting economic and political fortunes of Constantinople and Candia, and the enduring cultural influence of the Byzantine Empire's capital within Crete. Within this contextual framework, Angelos Akotantos provides the focus for this unique book.Due to the large number of first-class icons that can be accurately, and reliably, attributed to him, plus the existence of his will (reproduced in full here) and other documents which shed light on his personality, the scholars writing here successfully demonstrate, through both essays and catalogue entries, the high artistic quality of the works created by the 'Hand of Angelos' - pieces which demonstrate preoccupations with both Constantinopolitan painting and elements adopted from western art. At the same time these works are of great interest iconographically, as they established and crystallised motifs which are repeatedly seen in the work of artists from later generations. Including over eighty colour reproductions, the outstanding imagery combined with first-class scholarship found here will attract and entrance a wide spectrum of readers. This is an indispensable resource and a visual delight.
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