scarce.46 The usual system was to place a portrait of the saint in, or in place of, a painted headpiece at the beginning of his or her Life. In one set of volumes dated 1063, images of all the saints whose Lives were contained in a particular volume were assembled together on one folio to serve as its frontispiece. This kind of group portrait had its exact counterpart in contemporary calendar icons (fig. 5.4) and was paralleled by the poems of Christopher of Mytilene and others writing mnemonic calendar verses in the eleventh century and later.47

The church year in church decoration

Representations of the events and saints that together make up the church year filled the naos of a Byzantine church. The astonishing coordination of architecture and decoration characteristic of the interior of a domed Byzantine church transformed these commemorations into a system in which each component had a particular place relative both to the image of Christ in the central dome or vault, and to each other.48 Surrounding Christ are angels or prophets; the major New Testament events unfold, in the form of twelve - more or less -feast scenes arranged in the vaults or along upper walls, while at a lower level the walls, together with subsidiary areas such as corner chapels, are lined with images of the saints. The system was not codified until post-Byzantine times,49 but the positions of the various elements relative to Christ and to each other in a church programme were repeated fairly consistently in most Byzantine churches, whether cathedral, parish or monastic.

What is interesting here is how little influence the church calendar exerted onthe articulation ofthe programme. The saints, for example, are not arranged at all according to the dates of their commemorations, but according to their profession, whether apostle, warrior, monk, female saint, hermit or stylite,

46 N. P. Sevcenko, Illustrated manuscripts of the Metaphrastian Menologion (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1990). Only occasionally was the elaborate textual narrative accompanied by a comparable illuminated narrative: apanegyrikon: Athos Esphigmenou 14, has longer cycles, though the texts are still a selection of Metaphrastian lives, here combined with other types of text: S. M. Pelekanides et al., The treasures of Mount Athos: illuminated manuscripts, 4 vols. (Athens: Ekdotike Athenon (for the Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies), 1974-91), 11, figs. 327-408, esp. 327-36.

47 N. P. S evcenko, 'Marking holy time: the Byzantine calendar icons', in Byzantine icons: art, technique and technology, ed. M. Vassilaki (Heraklion: University of Crete Press, 2002), 5162; E. Follieri, Icalendariinmetroinnografico di CristoforoMitileneo [Subsidiahagiographica 63] (Brussels: Société des Bollandistes, 1980), 2 vols. All the calendar icons from the Byzantine period that survive today are located in the monastery of Mount Sinai.

48 The classic study is O. Demus, Byzantine mosaic decoration (London: Kegan Paul, 1948; reprinted New Rochelle: Caratzas Brothers, 1976). See also J.-M. Spieser, 'Liturgie et programmes iconographiques', TM 11 (1991), 575-90.

49 The 'Painter's Manual' of Dionysius ofFourna, trans. P. Hetherington (London: Sagittarius Press, 1974).

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