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Die Kunst der späten Palaiologenzeit auf Kreta:
Kloster Brontisi im Spannungsfeld zwischen Konstantinopel und Venedig
with a summary in English: Art
on Late Palaiologan Crete.
The Monastery of Brontisi
between the Poles of Constantinople and Venice
The study of the architecture and the frescoes of the St
Antonios church in the Brontisi monastery – a prime example of Late Palaiologan
art on Crete – has remained fragmentary for a
long time. An examination in the present book has revealed that the
architecture, consisting of two naves and a bell tower attached to the western
front, was built in at least two periods. Written sources from the 15th, 16th
and 17th centuries have been found and related to the history of the monastery.
The southern nave, which is dedicated to St Antonios, can clearly be identified
as the older part of the church. The small size of this nave and the autonomous
composition of the frescoes here suggest that it was erected as a private
chapel and burial place.
An examination of
the iconography, style and the contents of the murals permits a precise dating
of the frescoes between 1420 and 1430. Further investigation on other aspects
of the last cultural flowering of Byzantium
in Venetian Crete demonstrates a complex interaction between traditional
Byzantine art and the Renaissance in the West. Special attention has been given
on the Emmaus scene, an innovative depiction that may be regarded as a model of
The master of
Brontisi clings almost stubbornly to the traditional formal language of the
14th century and its principal manifestation in Constantinople,
namely the Chora church. On the other hand, his tendency to create strikingly
independent figural compositions of great spatial presence, while at the same
time breaking up the painting’s tectonic background, signals a move towards an
ongoing stylistic development. Despite the stylistic similarities to other
fresco cycles painted within a short period on Crete,
the unknown artist was concerned above all with an innovative approach. He sought
to articulate religious precepts through new compositional techniques; his
ability and his training, which he received in all likelihood in
Constantinople, allowed him to absorb into his own style the new impulses that
reached this Mediterranean island in the early 15th Century.
Contents: Vorwort. 1. Einleitung. 2. Das Monument
und sein Geschichte. 3. Die Fresken im Südschiff (3.1. Das Bildprogramm in
Umrissen. 3.2. Überlegungen zum Bildprogramm. 3.3. Ikonographie – Ikonologie).
4. Stil und Qualität der Malereien (Das Werk des Meisters von Brontisi in
Vergleich mit zeitgenössischen Freskenzyklen). 5. Zusammenfassung. 6. Synopsis
(Art on Late Palaiologan Crete). 7. Anhang (7.1 Übersichtstafel, 7.2. Monasterium Sanctae Catherinae in
Monte Sina, HS. Gr. 482. 7.3. Archivio Segreto Vaticano, Armarium XXXIV, Vol.
6. 7.4. Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Holkham 7. 7.5 Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS. Canon. 2). Register,
Abkürzungen – Literatur. Verzeichnis der Abbildungen.
2011, ISBN 9789490387068, Bound 24x17 cm., 480 pp. (336 pp. text and 270 illustrations,
mostly in full colour). Price: EUR 250
The Supper at Emmaus, St. Antonios, Brontisi
Monastery, 1420-1430 A.D.