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The twilight of Byzantium: 1204-1453

Gold-embroidered epitaphios of Thessaloniki
The Thessaloniki epitaphios

This superb epitaphios is a characteristic example of the art of gold embroidery during the Palaiologues. The gold-embroidered silk liturgical cloth is entirely preserved and in good condition. A band of circumscribed crosses frames the central rectangular panel, which is divided into three scenes: the Lamentation with Christ lying on a shroud surrounded by the Heavenly Forces (angels, cherubim, seraphim, tetramorphs) and the symbols of the Evangelists is in the centre; to the left, the Holy Communion; and to the right, the Holy Transmission*. The lateral scenes depict the Christ surrounded by angels offering his flesh and blood to a group of six apostles. The monumentality of the composition and precision in the execution connect the scenes in this epitaphios to monumental painting.

Exhibit Features
Date: Late Byzantine period, 1300 AC
Place of discovery: Thessaloniki
Dimensions: length: 2.00 m, width: 0.70 m
Material: silver, Gold, Silk
Inventory number: 57
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
 
 
 
  Suggestive Bibliography
 
Bouras L., "The Epitaphios of Thessaloniki Byzantine Museum of Athens No 685" in L'art de Thessalonique et de pays balkaniques et les courants spirituals au XIVe siecle, Recueil des rapports du IVe colloque Serbo-Grec Belgrade 1985, 1987, 211-231