Newly discovered Church in Cyprus : remarks on new architectural forms' modes of transmission in sixteenth-century Mediterranean

Variant title
Nově objevený kostel na Kypru : poznámky ke způsobu přenášení nových architektonických forem (středomoří v 16. století)
Source document: Convivium. 2018, vol. 5, iss. 2, pp. [130]-136
  • ISSN
    2336-3452 (print)
    2336-808X (online)
License: Not specified license
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Unpublished until now, the possibly monastic church of Saint Paraskevi (or Saint Perpyros), situated on the northern slope of the Pentadaktylos mountain range in the Cypriot district of Akanthou, is a sixteenth-century ruin of a rather common, single-nave type. It is exceptional, however, in its up-to-date Renaissance decoration, i.e., the rustication of the northern portal. This feature is unique in the context of a rural Greek church in Cyprus, where, unlike in Crete, no other Renaissance portals found in late-medieval rural church architecture have been proven. Because there are no written sources, the context of St Paraskevi's creation and the actors involved are hypothetical. Presumably, the still-unknown models were transmitted via Famagusta, but the modes of transmission remain a puzzle. One possibility would be inspiration from pattern books such as Serlio's Libri dell'architettura, which may have either directly guided the masons working on the church, or provided a model for an urban Famagusta workshop commissioned to design the church's portal. Including this curious object in broader future studies of the appearance of Renaissance forms in the late-medieval Eastern Mediterranean region might yield further insights.
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