Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Western Art in Crete

Western Art in Crete

The aim of the programme is to study the art of Crete in the Venetian period (13th–17th c.).

The aim of the programme is to study the art of Crete in the Venetian period (13th–17th c.). The starting point was to make a comparative study of Cretan and Western European art, especially Venetian art, in the context of the new environment created as a result of the island becoming part of the Venetian maritime republic. This involved studying on the one hand the evidence of literary and documentary sources and on the other works of art: painted/illustrated manuscripts, icons, sculpture and architecture. More specifically:

Ι. A database with bibliography on Venetian Crete was established.

ΙΙ. Photographic facsimiles of manuscripts produced in Crete in the period in question, which had illustrations or contained works relating to Crete, were collected in analogue or digital form. 

ΙΙΙ. A database was established listing evidence of the presence of Western artists in Crete and correspondingly the existence of Western artworks in churches and homes in Crete as well as imported household objects.

ΙV. Collaborative working relationships were established with the appropriate Ephorates of Antiquities in Crete and a well-organized system of recording and studying Cretan stone carving and sculpture from the period in question by both parties was initiated. Sculpture provided an appropriate subject for research in terms of meeting the programme’s objectives, offering a large body of material that had not previously been systematically examined. Moreover, these works had generally been produced on the island. For the most part they were associated with architecture, which was inspired by Venetian models or reproduced imported designs. Thus the sculpture provided a way of looking more closely at the architecture too. This work produced the following outcomes: 

  • Two databases were set up: i) for sculpture from the museums and other collections and ii) for sculpture in its original location or in secondary use, built into later buildings. This material is freely available and is used by scholars and visitors at the Institute of Mediterranean Studies.  Part of it is accessible on the internet.
  • In 2002, in collaboration with the 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in Crete, a symposium was held at the IMS on the topic of “Sculpture in the Latin East, 13th–17th centuries” and 
  • A collective publication entitled Sculpture and Stone Carving in the Levant, ed. Olga Gratziou, Herakleion: Crete University Press 2007 was produced.
  • A collective work entitled Η γλυπτική στην Κρήτη κατά τη Βενετική περίοδο (Sculpture in Crete in the Venetian Period), ed. Maria Vakondiou & Olga Gratziou is forthcoming. This book contains a systematic listing of all the sculpture in museums and archaeological collections in Crete, accompanied by studies that elucidate this material from various angles. 

V. Aspects of architecture were studied: e.g. construction techniques, special purpose buildings, the meaning for stylistic choices. 

In more general terms, the fact that research has begun to focus on the material remains from the Venetian period preserved on the island has provided an opportunity to discuss many issues related to the artistic and cultural consequences of Venetian rule in Crete.  This research field was well adapted to the training of a new generation of scholars.  The Programme has taught undergraduates for the practical part of their course and worked with postgraduate students in the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete.  In the context of the Programme’s research objectives and with the support of its facilities/staff: 

  • Three master dissertations were produced in the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete 
    • Marianna Katifori, Χαρτογραφική Μελέτη του Μεραμπέλλου στα χρόνια της Βενετοκρατίας. Τα μοναστήρια στη χρήση και οργάνωση του χώρου. Εφαρμογή στα Γεωγραφικά Συστήματα Πληροφοριών, [A Cartographic Study of Merabello in the Venetian Period, Recapturing the Spatial Dynamics of the Monasteries using GIS], Rethymno 2005

    • Nikos Tsivikis, Ο ναός της Αγίας Άννας στην Ελεύθερνα Μυλοποτάμου, [The church of Saint Anne at Eleutherna, Mylopotamos], Rethymno 2008. 

    • Evangelos Charitopoulos, Η ενδοχώρα νότια του Ρεθύμνου κατά τον Ύστερο Μεσαίωνα: μελέτη και αξιολόγηση των αρχαιολογικών δεδομένων με εφαρμογή γεωγραφικών συστημάτων πληροφοριών (GIS) [The hinterland south of Rethymno in the Late Medieval Period. Study and Evaluation of Archaeological Data using GIS] Rethymno 2009.

  • Two doctoral theses have been completed in the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete and are now being prepared for publication

    • Sofia Katopi, Η βενετική Λότζια του Χάνδακα: η ιστορία του μνημείου από την ανέγερσή του έως σήμερα [The Venetian Loggia in Candia: the history of the building from the time of its construction to the twentieth century], University of Crete 2016.

    • Maria Vakondiou, Λιθοξόοι και γλύπτες στη Βενετική Κρήτη [Stone carvers and sculptors in Venetian Crete], University of Crete, 2017.


Academic Supervisor
Olga Gratziou (Emeritus Professor Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete and Honorary Member of the Institute of Mediterranean Studies/ FORTH)

Research team
Petroula Varthalitou (Postgraduate student, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete)
Nikos Tsivikis (Postgraduate student, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete)
Giannis Fantakis (Postgraduate student, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete)
Olga Magoula (Postgraduate student, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete)
Maria Vakondiou (Postgraduate student, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete)
Sofia Katopi (Art historian)
Matteo Magnani (Leonardo da Vinci programme)
Fani Skyvalida (Postgraduate student, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete)
Konstantinos Roussos (Postgraduate student, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete) 

Publications

  • Olga Gratziou (ed.), Γλυπτική και Λιθοξοϊκη στη λατινική Ανατολή [Sculpture and Stone Carving in the Levant], Herakleion: Crete University Press, 2007.
  • Olga Gratziou, Η Κρήτη στην ύστερη μεσαιωνική εποχή. Η μαρτυρία της εκκλησιαστικής αρχιτεκτονικής [Crete in the late medieval period. The evidence of church architecture], Herakleion: Crete University Press, 2010.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Ιστορία και επικαιρότητα στα χρησμολόγια του Γεωργίου Κλόντζα» [History and political actuality in the oracular manuscripts illuminated by Georgios Klontzas]”, Πεπραγμένα Η΄Διεθνούς Κρητολογικού Συνεδρίου [Proceedings of the 8th International Congress of Cretan Studies] (September 1996), Herakleion 2000, vol. B1: 151-162. 
  • Olga Gratziou, “Spolia βενετικής ευγένειας από την περιοχή του Ρεθύμνου [Spolia of Veneto-Cretan nobility from the Rethymno hinterland]”, in A. Papadaki, C. Maltezou (eds.), Της Βενετιάς το Ρέθυμνο [Atti del simposio Rethymno Veneziano], (Rethymno, November 1 - 2, 2002), Venice: Istituto Ellenico di Studi Bizantini e Postbizantini di Venezia, 2003, 435-446. 
  • Olga Gratziou, “Αναζητώντας τη Γλυπτική των Βενετών στην Κρήτη. [Searching for Venetian Sculpture in Crete]”, in Olga Gratziou (ed.), Sculture and Stone-cαrving in the Levant, Herakleion: Crete University Press, 2007, 180-195.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Οι εικόνες στην Κρήτη κατά τη δεύτερη βυζαντινή περίοδο και αργότερα: εκκλησιαστική πολιτική και λαϊκή λατρεία [Icons in Crete during the middle byzantine period and later; church politics and cult]”, in I. Vassis, St. Kaklamainis and Marina Loukaki (eds.), Παιδεία και Πολιτισμός στην Κρήτη. Βυζάντιο – Βενετοκρατία. Μελέτες αφιερωμένες στον Θεοχάρη Δετοράκη. [Education and Civilization in Crete. Byzantium and Venetian Period. Studies in Honour of Theocharis Detorakis], Herakleion: Crete University Press 2008, 43-55.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Venetian Monuments in Crete: a controversial Heritage”, in Dimitris Damaskos & Dimitris Plantzos (eds.), A Singular Antiquity. Archaeology and Hellenic Identity in twentieth-century Greece, Athens: Benaki Museum 2008, 209-222.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Παναγία η Λαμπηνή. Στα ίχνη μιας χαμένης μεσοβυζαντινής εικόνας από την Κρήτη [Panagia Lambinni. Searching for the traces of a lost middle byzantine icon from Crete]”, in Olga Gratziou, Christos Loukos (eds.), Ψηφίδες. Μελέτες Ιστορίας, Αρχαιολογίας και Τέχνης στη μνήμη της Στέλλας Παπαδάκη Oekland [Tesserae. Studies in History, Archaeology and Art in Memoriam of Stella Papadaki-Oekland], Herakleion: Crete University Press and Publications of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Crete 2009, 245-255.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Evidenziare la diversità: Chiese doppie nella Creta Veneziana”, in Chryssa Maltezou, Angeliki Tzavara, Despina Vlassi (ed.), I Greci durante la venetocrazia: Uomini, spazio, idee (XIII-XVIII sec.), Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Venezia, 3 - 7 dicembre 2007, Venice: Istituto Ellenico di Studi Bizantini e Postbizantini di Venezia, 757-763.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Cretan Architecture and Sculpture in the Venetian Period”, in Anastasia Drandaki (ed.), The Origins of El Greco. Icon Painting in Venetian Crete, New York, 2009, 19-27.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Η γλυπτική στις βενετικές κτήσεις του ελληνικού χώρου και ιδιαίτερα στην Κρήτη [Sculpture in Greek territories ruled by Venice, especially in Crete]”, in Chryssa Maltezou (ed.), La Grecia durante la Venetocrazia. Approccio alla sua storia, Venice: Istituto Ellenico di Studi Bizantini e Postbizantini di Venezia, 2010, v. I: 575-604. 
  • Sofia Katopi, “Από τη Λότζια του Χάνδακα στο Δημαρχείο Ηρακλείου [From the Loggia of Candia to the Town Hall of Heraklion]”, Αρχαιολογικό Έργο Κρήτης 1, [Archaeological work in Crete 1] (Rethymnon, November 28 - 30, 2008), Rethymnon: Publications of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Crete, 2010, 432-441. 
  • Maria Vakondiou, “Δύο 'δίδυμα' οικόσημα των μέσων του 16ου αιώνα [Two similar coat of arms dated in 1555]”, Αρχαιολογικό Έργο Κρήτης 1, [Archaeological Work in Crete 1] (Rethymnon, November 28 - 30, 2008), Rethymnon: Publications of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Crete, 2010, 414-421.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Όσοι πιστοί προσέλθετε… Προσκυνήματα για αμφότερα τα δόγματα σε μοναστήρια της Κρήτης κατά τη βενετική περίοδο”, in Elias Kolovos (ed.), Μοναστήρια, οικονομία και πολιτική. Από τους μεσαιωνικούς στους νεώτερους χρόνους [Monasteries, Economy, and Politics from Medieval to Modern Times], Herakleion: Crete University Press, 2011, 117-139.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Λογοτεχνία και ζωγραφική στην Κρήτη τον 15ο αιώνα [Literature and painting in Crete in the 15th century]”, in I. Mavromatis – Ν. Agiotis (eds.), Πρώιμη νεοελληνική δημώδης γραμματεία. Γλώσσα, παράδοση και ποιητική [Early Modern Greek Vernacular Literature], Proceedings of the 6th International Congress Neograeca Medii Aevi, Herakleion: Crete University Press, 2012, 103-114.
  • Sofia Katopi, “Venetian Monuments in Crete: a reinvented heritage”, in Georg Ulrich Großmann, Petra Krutisch (επιμ.), The challenge of the object: 33rd congress of the International Committee of the History of Art, 15th – 20th (Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, July 2012), Series Wissenschaftliche Beibände zum Anzeiger des Germanischen Nationalmuseums, Nuremberg 2013, vol. 32 Part 4: 487-491.
  • Olga Gratziou, “Η γλυπτική στην Κρήτη κατά την περίοδο της βενετικής κυριαρχίας [Sculpture in Crete during the Venetian rule]”, in Vassiliki Sythiakaki, Μουσείο Αγίας Αικατερίνης Ηρακλείου. Κατάλογος [Museum of Agia Aikaterini. Catalogue], Herakleion 2014, 24-27.
  • Maria Vakondiou, entries in Vassiliki Sythiakaki (ed.), Μουσείο Αγίας Αικατερίνης Ηρακλείου. Κατάλογος [Museum of Agia Aikaterini. Catalogue], Herakleion 2014, 95, 96, 97. 
  • Olga Gratziou, «Νεότερα από την Αρχαιολογία της Βενετικής Περιόδου [Towards an archaeology of Venetian Crete]», Αρχαιολογικό Έργο Κρήτης 3 [Archaeological work in Crete 3] (Rethymnon, December 5 – 8, 2013), Rethymnon: Publications of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Crete, 2015, 701-707. 
  • Maria Vakondiou, «Τεχνικές και εργαλεία λιθοξοϊκής στη βενετική Κρήτη [Stone carving tools and techniques in Venetian Crete]», Αρχαιολογικό Έργο Κρήτης 3, [Archaeological work in Crete 3] (Rethymnon, December 5 – 8, 2013), Rethymnon: Publications of the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Crete, 2015, 709-717. 
  • Zoi Eirini Papliaka, Aggelos Philippidis, Panayiotis Siozos, Maria Vakondiou, Kristalia Melessanaki, Demetrios Anglos, «A multi-technique approach, based on mobile/portable laser instruments, for the in-situ pigment characterization of stone sculptures on the island of Crete dating from Venetian and Ottoman period», Heritage Science 4:15, 2016.
  • Sofia Katopi, «Venetian administration and the introduction and dissemination of the all’antica architecture in Crete during the 16th  and 17th  centuries: the example of the Loggia of Candia», in Aris Sarafianos, Panagiotis Ioannou (eds.), Research Questions in Art History: From Late Middle Ages to the Present, Athens: Asini Editions, 2016, 61-72.
  • Olga Gratziou, «From Heaven to Earth. Perceptions of reality in icon painting», Ikon 9 (2016), 53-64.
  • Olga Gratziou, «Τόσο κοντά και τόσο μακριά. Κρήτη και Βενετία (1211-1669). Η μαρτυρία των υλικών τεκμηρίων [So near and yet so far. Crete and Venice 1211-1669: the material evidence]», Κρητικά Χρονικά [Cretika Chronika] 37 (2017), 63-92. 
  • Olga Gratziou, «Η επιδερμίδα των κτηρίων: από τις δυσχέρειες της τεκμηρίωσης στα διλήμματα της αναστήλωσης [The surface of historical buildings: difficulties of documentation, dilemmas in restoration]», in Μ. Korres, St.Mamaloukos, K.Zambas, F.Malochou-Tufano (eds), 'Ήρως κτίστης΄. Μνήμη Χαράλαμπου Μπούρα [In Memoriam of Charalambos Bouras], Athens: Melissa Editions 2018, 155-162.
     

Project Team

Maria Vakondiou

Postdoctoral researcher
Curriculum vitae

Olga Gratziou

IMS Honorary Fellow
Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete
Curriculum vitae

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