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Asinou across Time: Studies in the Architecture and Murals of the Panagia Phorbiotissa, Cyprus

Edited by Annemarie Weyl Carr and Andréas Nicolaïdès

The church of Asinou on the island of Cyprus is among the most widely known monuments of Byzantine mural painting. Built around 1100 and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the edifice is decorated with accretions of images, from the famous fresco cycle executed shortly after initial construction to those made in the early seventeenth century. During this period the church served the adjacent monastery of the Mother of God ton Phorbion (“of the vetches”), and was subject successively to Byzantine, Lusignan (1191–1474), Venetian (1474–1570), and Ottoman rule. This monograph is the most comprehensive analysis to date of one of Cyprus's major diachronically painted churches. Written by an international team of renowned scholars, the book sets the accumulating phases of Asinou's art and architecture in the context of the changing fortunes of the valley, of Cyprus, and of the eastern Mediterranean. Chapters include the first continuous history of the church and its immediate setting; a thorough analysis of its architecture; editions, translations, and commentary on the poetic inscriptions; iconographic and art-historical studies of the post-1105/6 images in the sanctuary, nave, and narthex; a detailed comparative analysis of the physical and chemical properties of the frescoes; and a diachronic table of paleographical forms.

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