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The Church of the Panagia Kanakariá at Lythrankomi in Cyprus

Its Mosaics and Frescoes

A. H. S. Megaw and E. J. W. Hawkins

Dumbarton Oaks Studies

Architecture, Art History, Byzantine Studies, Byzantine History

In 1895 the Russian scholar Jakov Smirnov visited the church which is the subject of this monograph. Since then it has been known to preserve remains of one of the few sacred compositions in mosaic in the Christian East that survived the edicts of the iconoclast emperors. After the Second World war structural repair of the building, undertaken jointly by the Church authorities and the Cyprus department of Antiquities, led to the discovery of substantial additional parts of the mosaic. Cleaning and conservation followed, which made possible the preparation of the present detailed account of the mosaic and of the accompanying photographs.

The theme—the Incarnation—the iconography, and the style of the mosaic are fully discussed. Also included is an examination of the complex structural history of the building, which successive restorations transformed into a domed church. The remains of the wall paintings, dating principally from the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, are also described and illustrated. Finally, there is an appendix on a legend, at least as old as the ninth century, concerning a wonder-working mosaic of the Virgin and Child in Cyprus which has sometimes been associated with the Panagia Kanakariá.

Dumbarton Oaks Studies 14

 

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