Preparing for Martyrdom: Ardenica Monastery’s (Myzeqe) Decorative Programme Cover Image
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Preparing for Martyrdom: Ardenica Monastery’s (Myzeqe) Decorative Programme
Preparing for Martyrdom: Ardenica Monastery’s (Myzeqe) Decorative Programme

Author(s): Konstantinos Giakoumis
Subject(s): History, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Cultural history, Architecture, Visual Arts
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките
Keywords: Post-Byzantine art; Post-Byzantine hagiography; Conversion to Islam; Albania; Nektarios Terpos; Myzeqe (Mouzakia); Resistance to conversions to Islam; Ottoman domestic interreligious affairs; Ardenica

Summary/Abstract: This paper delves into the influence of a patron with particular theological views and aesthetics over a group of artists who worked at the decorative programme of Ardenica Monastery in Myzeqe, central-southern Albania. I am arguing that, under the influence of Nektarios Terpos (Alb. Nektar Terpo), a fiery Moschopolitan (Alb. Voskopojar) preacher, the decorative programme of the monastery’s catholicon (frescoes, icons, ceramics and wood-carvings) promoted a ‘militant’ spirit of resistance against Islamization, predicating suffering and martyrdom as means of salvation and glorification. To argue about this, in the paper’s prelude I shall deal with a general overview of the ideological orientation of certain trends in post-Byzantine painting in a contemporary setting. In the second I shall outline the extent of Islamization in the wider region in focus up to the 18th century, i.e. the period of Ardenica Monastery’s decorative programme. Finally, in the third part I shall examine the related art historical evidence provided by the given artworks.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 10-21
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English