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Sovereign Holy and Holy Princesses in the monumental painting of the Byzantines churches of Cyprus



ID: <10670/1.xgp9ra>


Holy Empress and Holy Princesses in Cypriot Byzantine Wall Paintings, 12th - 15th Centuries Byzantine hagiographical iconography contains many examples of holy empresses and princesses. They are revealed by the hagiographical texts, the synaxaria, and the menologia, which constitute important sources for monumental painting. Although Helena, mother of Constantine I, figures most prominently in this iconography, representations of holy princesses are common as well, particularly in the painted churches of Cyprus, the holy island. Through consideration of numerous Cypriot portraits dating from the 12th to the 15th century, this essay examines the role of Helena, the identities of holy female martyrs such as Barbara, Irene, and Catherine, and those of allegorical martyr-saints, such as Kyriake, as well as their iconography.

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