Ο τοπικός πολιτισμός της περιοχής των Τζουμέρκων
Υπόμνημα:

The Chapel of Saint John the Baptist

pareklisi

The small single-aisle Chapel of Saint John the Baptist was painted in winter 1737 (completed on the 4th of February) by painters Georgios and Stergios from Kalarrytes. The same artists completed the paintings in the Monastery of the Dormition of the Virgin in Chrysinos near Kalambaka, again in mid-winter (2nd of February) in 1740. At the Chapel of Saint John certain elements in the iconographic cycle seem to indicate its function as an ossuary and therefore stress its funerary character. The paintings delineate a circumstance that enables a relationship between an enclosed painted space and the exterior where the code for creating a unified iconographic programme emerges. The programme presents various iconographic and stylistic elements which are joined into a meaningful sequence and the spiritual and ideological operation of faith merges into a unified whole.

For example, the choice of a series of martyrdom scenes (The Beheading of Saint George, the Martyrdom of Saint Demetrios, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, The Martyrdom of Saints Eustathios and Theopiste and of their children Theopistos and Agapios, the Martyrdom of Saints Victor and Vicentius, the Martyrdom of Saint Theodore Stratelates, the Martyrdom of the Forty Saints, the Stoning of Saint Stephen, the Martyrdoms of the Evangelists Mark and Matthew, the Martyrdom of Andrew the Apostle, the Martyrdom of Saint Ignatius), which are few in number in comparison to other 16th century Monuments (due to space limitations), nevertheless make up a substantial percentage of the modest chapel’s size. Martyrdom scenes are even depicted on the bema walls. This predominance of martyrdom, a mechanism for registering the psychogenic or sociogenic differentiation of Christian community members, acts as a special polemic device for a religion in self-defence against its enemies. Therefore, it becomes clear that the urgency to depict martyrdom extends beyond the dictates of an iconographic system and constitutes a symbolic nucleus at the centre of Christian resistance and its practices against enemies of the faith. At the same time, this deployment of suffering describes the affinity between the presence of pain (in the guise of self-consciousness, self-identification and closeness between the believer and the depicted suffering martyr) and the metaphysics of violence (in the guise of conviction for the ontological certainty in the meaning of pain). The spiritual recognition of bodily pain reflected, in this instance, specific cultural views (for example, the belief in the absolute, the cultivation of inwardness, the prospect of an afterlife, the hope for salvation) but also specific cultural practices (for example, self-incarceration and self-compulsion). It should be borne in mind that, within the cultural context of monasticism, pain was primarily a material testimony of the soul’s suffering for the human fall; the monk had to stolidly bear with it in order to achieve forgiveness. For centuries the cultural constitution of pain within Christianity remained closely linked with the challenge in achieving the soul’s salvation. Pain was also viewed as a means to be liberated from all the pressures of a transient life. At the same time, pain was a stable cultural component that performed a vital role against the sad worldly reality. The funerary character of the place together with its focus on the vanity of a secular time is declared in the painter’s representation of martyrdom (emphasised in the representation of the Merciless Death) in an effort to trans-substantiate the violence of martyric suffering (aimed at salvation after death) into a cathartic, joyous act with therapeutic and educational value. By operating as a microcosm symbolising the body of the Church in general and by contributing to the objectification of a shared Christian memory, the representational space of the church becomes the place par excellence in which salvation attains meaning. The living community of worshippers is organised around the oxymoronic spectacle of the martyr’s dismembered and blood-stained body; this body is ‘ritualised’ and promotes the sociogenesis of the Christian community while laying the foundations for the collective identity of the Church.

See the Chapel’s Murals

1 to 1011 to 2021 to 3031 to 4041 to 5051 to 60