The Open UniversitySkip to content

The church of the Archangel Michael at Kavalariana: art and society on fourteenth-century Venetian-dominated Crete

Lymberopoulou, Angeliki (2006). The church of the Archangel Michael at Kavalariana: art and society on fourteenth-century Venetian-dominated Crete. London, UK: Pindar Press.

Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


During this period, Crete was perhaps the most important Venetian stronghold in the Mediterranean. The traditional view that there was little cultural interaction between the native Greek Orthodox population and the Venetian colonists has recently been cast in doubt. From the early fourteenth century onwards, the two ethnically and religiously different inhabitants of Crete formed in fact a hybrid society, and Cretan artistic development reflects this progress.

The book focuses as a case study on the church of the Archangel Michael at Kavalariana. This is a small church in the village of Kavalariana on the south-western part of the island. It is dated by a dedicatory inscription to the year 1327/28. The conservative iconographic programme of the wall paintings inside the church consists of seventeen religious scenes and thirty-three isolated saintly figures. As the paintings are signed Ioannis, they have been attributed to the prolific fourteenth-century Cretan artist Ioannis Pagomenos. A close examination of the style and comparisons with Pagomenos’ oeuvre suggest, however, that Ioannis of Kavalariana was a separate artist with an identity of his own. A unique feature of the Kavalariana cycle is the pro-Venetian inscription which, in combination with the fourteen portraits of the donors that appear in the church, forms an important witness to Venetian/Cretan cultural interaction.

Item Type: Book
ISBN: 1-904597-31-9, 978-1-904597-31-5
Keywords: Venetian Crete; Byzantine Art; Byzantine church decoration; Ioannes Pagomenos; donors; cross-cultural interaction; cross-cultural influences
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Art History, Classical Studies, English and Creative Writing, Music
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 2854
Depositing User: Angeliki Lymberopoulou
Date Deposited: 10 Jul 2006
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2017 12:43
Share this page:

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU