Oana Iacubovschi, Christ Pantocrator surrounded by the symbols of the Evangelists: The place and the meaning of the image in Post-Byzantine mural painting. The case of Moldavian cupolas (15th–16th centuries)

Oana Iacubovschi - Institute of South-East European Studies, Bucharest
p. 131-153
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Pantocrator, iconography of the dome, Moldavian mural painting (15th–16th Centuries)

From the end of the 15th century to the half of the 16th century, the image of Christ in glory surrounded by the four symbols of the Evangelists is represented in the mural painting of the Moldavian churches as the central composition of the dome. This typology of the Pantocrator is however very unusual for the iconography of Byzantine cupolas. A close parallel to the Moldavian case is provided by a group of small barrel vaulted churches in the region of Ohrid, where the image of Christ in tetramorph, pictured on the vault of the naos, becomes very popular in the first half of the 15th century. Along with Byzantine and post-Byzantine mural representations of the topic, the paper considers the evidence of a series of manuscript illuminations that reveal various aspects in the formal and semantic development of the image representing Christ in Majesty as part of liturgical Gospel Books.