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Wood-carving in the Modern Period

Ecclesiastical wood-carving

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Gilded wood-carved 'omphalos' with the Pantokrator
Gilded wood-carved 'omphalos' with the Pantokrator, second half of 17th cent., Kozani, Folklore Museum.

Painted iconostasis
Painted wood-carved iconostasis by the painter Pitanis of Samarina, 1883, Pylori, church of the Theotokos.

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Gilded wood-carved 'omphalos' with the Pantokrator


Painted iconostasis

Many wood-carved iconostases and other items of ecclesiastical furniture (pulpits, bishop's thrones, prie-dieux, and so on), all basic adornments of the church, are preserved in Macedonia. There is also one of the oldest iconostases in mainland Greece -- that in the church of Ayios Nikolaos at Velvendos, near Kozani (1591).

The iconostases of Macedonia followed the same evolution as those in the rest of Greece: in the 16th century they were carved in low relief, recalling stone-carving; this later became deeper and was emphasised by the painted background (late 17th century).

By the 18th century the decoration was open-work, carved almost in the round, and gilded. Some of them had a combination of painted and wood-carved decoration, while inlays of various materials were used in some ecclesiastical furniture. The wood-carvers came from Macedonia and Epirus, as did the gilders, which was a specialist profession.

See Also
Civilization - Woodcarved icons (1204-1430)
Travelling - Agios Nikolaos in Kozani


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.