Cyprus Arts Between 13th and 15th Centuries
The French dynasty of the Lusignano introduced a developed feudal system and an articulated legislation on the island, creating the conditions for the great mercantile prosperity of Cyprus in the century. 14 °, which benefited in the first place the French ruling class and the great merchants of Nicosia and Famagusta, but also, at least in part, the subject population. 11th and 12th, the new French lords distinguished themselves in financing the construction of fortresses, churches and monasteries. Even if the building development was initially slow – the Late Romanesque is represented only by a few small churches in the Carpaso, while the oldest Gothic churches denounce a provincial style -, the buildings in the Rayonnant Gothic style of the century. 14th, mostly French-inspired, they constitute the last and most important monuments of the medieval Latin presence in the East. At this time Cyprus was the last bastion of Catholic Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean and a notable part of the wealth produced by maritime trade was used to finance new architectural enterprises; among the preserved testimonies of this period we must remember numerous ruins of Gothic churches scattered in the countryside (Enlart, 1899), the square tower of Kolossi, once belonged to the Knights of s. Giovanni, as well as the ruins of a fortified stately home in old Paphos, with an impressive crypt with a grandiose quadripartite ribbed vault. Even non-Catholic churches were sometimes built in the Gothic style: that of Saints Peter and Paul (od. Sinan Paşa mosque) in Famagusta – which has three semicircular apses inserted in a quadrangular body, aisle and vaulted aisles, as well as a refined sculptural decoration with angelic figures – was probably built for wealthy Nestorians refugee BC from the Near East; also the small Orthodox cathedral of Aghios Gheorghios, in the same city, appears in mature rayonnant style, albeit with some Byzantine elements.The cathedral of Saint Sophia in Nicosia (od. Selimiye mosque) was completed during the reign of Archbishop Giovanni del Conte (1318-1332), who added the western portico. The plan and the elevation seem to have been conceived as a reduced version of the cathedral of Reims: a nave with four spans, ending in a polygonal choir with ambulatory, but without radial chapels. The weight of the simple quadripartite vault is discharged through triple beam stems into the simple capitals of the monolithic columns. The window openings are reduced to reduce the penetration of light and heat; nevertheless, and perhaps partly for aesthetic reasons, flying buttresses are placed to support the upper part of the choir walls. The western portico that joins the two projecting towers of the façade is animated by a plant decoration which was widespread in the Latin architecture of Cyprus. In 1948, removing some layers of plaster from a later period, three rows of figures carved in the ashlars were brought to light (kings, queens, prophets, bishops). a beautiful portal with some figurative sculptures; Latin bishops were imposed on the main cities, while the Greek prelates were relegated to the countryside and even the artistic patronage linked to the aristocracy ended up in decline; to testify the effects of this situation it is enough to compare the feeble provincial frescoes in Mutullas (1280) with the works of a century earlier in Lagudera. Nevertheless, as a product of an isolated province of uninterrupted Orthodox artistic traditions, the Cypriot painting of the following centuries is not without interest: in the monastery of Aghios Ioannis Lampadistis in Kalopanaghiotis the works of the century. 13 °, in a delayed and slightly rigid Comnenian style, show a certain iconographic evolution, not least in the peculiar choice of subjects and in the inclusion of some heraldic motifs of Latin inspiration and some portraits of donors. The cycle of paintings (Last Judgment) that decorates the narthex of the church of Asinou (1333), the frescoes of the century. 14 ° in Pelendri and the cycles of the century. 15 ° in Stavros tu Aghiasmati, Luvaras (1464) and Pedulas (1474) are examples of a lively talent for anecdotal story articulated in several registers, even if they are sometimes reduced to mere provincial conventions. the western style imposed itself in a significant way (eg the Italianizing works in Aghios Sozomenos, of 1513, and in the Panaghia Podythu in Galata). The delicate and sophisticated frescoes of the katholikón of the century. 15 ° to Aghios Neophitos (especially the cycle of the Acatistus) prove that the island was not completely cut off from the so-called paleological renaissance of the century. 14th, probably mediated through the imported icons and manuscripts brought to Cyprus by Byzantine refugees, among which the same painters of the church of Aghios Neophitos could also be counted.As for the Byzantine monasteries of Cyprus – which reproduce the usual Orthodox model with a fortified walls with a tower gate, cells leaning against the walls and an isolated main church inside the courtyard – the subsequent vicissitudes (especially in the phase of Turkish domination) have profoundly altered its architectural appearance: Kikkos, for example, which it is believed to have been founded around 1100, it was destroyed several times by fire until the 10th century. 19 °; the fires that struck Macheras in 1530 and again in 1892 left few medieval elements intact. The oldest of all, Stavrovuni, presumably founded in the century. 4th from s. Elena, was practically completely rebuilt in the century. 19 ° on the remaining foundations. Similarly, there are few noteworthy civil buildings that have survived from the Byzantine era; interesting from the archaeological point of view are the ruins of the castle known as the Forty Columns, built in the century. 7th by the residents of Paphos (Megaw, 1972). Even the most ancient phases of the Latin castle of S. Ilario are Byzantine, since the site of the saint’s hermitage was partially fortified before the surrender to Richard the Lionheart in 1191. The Buffavento castle has some sections of brick wall from the Byzantine and also Kantara was originally a Byzantine foundation of the late 9th century. For Cyprus 2007, please check extrareference.com.
The oldest preserved Cypriot icons date back to the moment of great flowering of mural painting in the 13th century. 11th and 12th (Papagheorghiu, 1969, pp. 14-15, 17, 19, 25, 28). The half-length Archangel by Aghios Chrysostomos (probably repainted around 1200) recalls in its monumentality and golden curls the famous icon of the Angel of Kiev (St. Petersburg, Hermitage). The fragmentary icon with the apostles of Lephkonikon and the Virgin Eleúsa by Aghios Neophitos, from the late 12th century. 12 °, are performed in a more essential and linear way and with a tendency towards the abstraction of the physiognomies that is found in the frescoes of Asinou; the Virgin of Nicosia (Aghia Phaneromeni, Coll.), of the late century. 12 °, is performed more loosely, although the marked design and abundant use of gold highlights remain. The expressive face of St. John the Baptist of the episcopal palace of Kerynia – almost certainly a fragment of the right side of an icon of the Déesis – is striking for its strong spiritual tension. Although the testimonies of icon painting of this period are limited, in them we can see a provincial reflection of the Comnenian style, in which the tendency to hieraticity, frontality and two-dimensionality, derived from the Christian Near East, especially from Palestine, appears accentuated. The imposing icon of the Pantocrator surrounded by small images of saints, from the end of the century, is clearly more monumental and classicizing. 12 °, of the Panaghia tu Araku in Lagudera (Papagheorghiu, 1969, p. 3). The trend towards a classicizing Renaissance in Byzantine art of the end of the century. 13 ° stopped in the capital because of the Latin occupation (1204-1261) and, in Cyprus, of the domination of the Lusignano. In some local iconographies of the Franco period there is a tendency towards formal simplification, even if the icons imported from Constantinople and Thessaloniki contributed, especially in the century. 14 °, to maintain a sufficiently high quality of production. Among the icons of the century. 13 ° we must remember the Virgin Eleúsa in Nicosia (Aghia Phaneromeni, Coll.; Papagheorghiu, 1969, p. 18), an effective work but lacking the refinement of the Christ of Lagudera, whose golden stucco halo indicates western contacts. The two-sided icon of the Crucifixion, preserved in the same collection (ibid, p. 27), which presents slender and sinuous figures, with strong emotional accents, is the work of a Cypriot painter of the century. 13 ° which is proposed as a continuer of the Byzantine modules of the previous century, but which at the same time denounces the influences of Western culture brought by the Crusaders. 14 °, three icons of exceptional height and notable subtlety also preserved in Nicosia (Aghia Phaneromeni, Coll.) Should be mentioned: Christ with archangels and donors (1356), S. Eleuterio and S. Parasceve (ca. 1400; Papagheorghiu, 1969, p. 38), all probably made to be placed on the pillars of a church. The inclusion of the depiction of donors again represents a Western element; the modeling of the figures of Christ and St. Eleuterio shows a new softness, characteristic of the paleological age, while the figure of s. Parasceve appears rigid and severe, perhaps a reflection of the conservative taste of a monastic environment. The opposing stylistic tendencies traceable in the Cypriot icons of the century. 14 ° can be illustrated by the comparison between St. Nicholas of Kakopetria, from about 1300, and the Virgin preserved in the church of Aghios Kassianos in Nicosia, dating from the same period (ibid., Pp. 34-35), with a group of icons of the church of the Virgin Chrysalinitissa in Nicosia (ibid., pp. 31, 40, 43). The first two are manifestly hybrid works, both in style and in iconography: the hard, linear and frontal manner, the aureoles and the cantilevered arches, as well as the attention paid to the narrative elements in the hagiographic scenes around them recall the Crusader icons preserved in Mount Sinai, while the French commission is indicated by the presence of tonsured monks at the feet of the Virgin and by the knight and lady who beg for St. Nicola. On the other hand, the delicate and miniaturistic scenes of the Feasts (ibid, p. 43) recall paleological works such as the icon of Abraham (Athens, Benaki Mus.); S. Pietro (Nicosia, Aghia Phaneromeni, Coll.; ivi, p. 40) has a sculptural weight and a presence similar to the best Macedonian works of the century. 14 ° (for example the icons of the Déesis of Dečani and of the monastery of Chiliandari on Mount Athos); the archangel Michael (Nicosia, Aghia Phaneromeni, Coll.; ibid., p. 31) and St. John the Baptist instead represent a combination of neoclassical modeling and orthodox interiority, characteristic of the so-called paleological renaissance. The best icons of this period, including quite a few of the Cypriot ones, they present an elegance in the figures, an idealized naturalism in the proportions, poses and gestures and a spirituality pervaded by the light of Hesychasm that make them among the highest products of Christian humanism. Examples of this metropolitan manner, which continued to exert its influence in the post-Byzantine Cyprus of the late century. 14th and 15th, are the Christ of Kerynia, of the century. 15 ° (ibid., P. 53), and the Ascension of the church of Aghios Kassianos in Nicosia (ibid., P. 55). Gendle 14th and 15th, are the Christ of Kerynia, of the century. 15 ° (ibid., P. 53), and the Ascension of the church of Aghios Kassianos in Nicosia (ibid., P. 55). Gendle 14th and 15th, are the Christ of Kerynia, of the century. 15 ° (ibid., P. 53), and the Ascension of the church of Aghios Kassianos in Nicosia (ibid., P. 55).