1 Religious Icon, George Klontzas’ Three Church Hierarchs, with footnotes #12

George Klontzas (1540 – circa 1608)
Three Church Hierarchs; St Basil The Great, St John Chrysostom and St Gregory the Theologian, Cretan, late 16th century

Tempera on wood
Private collection

The Saints are depicted against a gold ground, in frontal position with elongated bodies and relatively small heads, each making a blessing gesture and holding a jewelled closed Book of Gospels, robed in precious bishop’s garments with striking geometric ornament of crosses set within squares and circles of a type worn during the Byzantine period. More on this painting

The Three Hierarchs of Eastern Christianity refers to Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom. They were highly influential bishops of the early church who played pivotal roles in shaping Christian theology. In Eastern Christianity they are also known as the Three Great Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers, while in Roman Catholicism the three are honored as Doctors of the Church. The three are venerated as saints in Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Anglicanism, and other Christian churches. More on Three Church Hierarchs

Basil of Caesarea, also called Saint Basil the Great (330[8] – January 1 or 2, 379), was a Byzantine bishop of Caesarea Mazaca in Cappadocia, Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He was an influential theologian who supported the Nicene Creed and opposed the heresies of the early Christian church, fighting against both Arianism and the followers of Apollinaris of Laodicea. His ability to balance his theological convictions with his political connections made Basil a powerful advocate for the Nicene position.

In addition to his work as a theologian, Basil was known for his care of the poor and underprivileged. More on Basil of Caesarea

John Chrysostom ( 347 – 14 September 407) was an important Early Church Father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church.

He is honoured as a saint in the Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, as well as in some others. The Eastern Orthodox, together with the Byzantine Catholics, hold him in special regard as one of the Three Holy Hierarchs (alongside Basil the Great and Gregory of Nazianzus). More on John Chrysostom

Gregory of Nazianzus (329 – 25 January 390), also known as Gregory the Theologian or Gregory Nazianzen, was a 4th-century Archbishop of Constantinople and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. As a classically trained orator and philosopher he infused Hellenism into the early church, establishing the paradigm of Byzantine theologians and church officials, More on Gregory of NazianzusGeorgios Klontzas (1535-1608) was a scholar, painter, and manuscript illuminator. He is one of the most influential artists of the post-Byzantine period. He defined the Cretan Renaissance. He worked for both Catholic and Orthodox patrons. His artistic output included: icons, miniatures, triptychs, and illuminated manuscripts. He is known for occupying his icons with countless figures. The technique is extremely complex and unique to Klontzas. Andreas Pavias attempted this technique in the Crucifixion of Jesus. Klontzas’s painting All Creation rejoices in thee is his most popular work. Klontzas influenced Theodore Poulakis he created an extremely similar painting called In Thee Rejoiceth. Klontzas’s work is strongly influenced by the Venetian school. His triptychs strongly resemble the works of Gentile da Fabriano, namely the Intercession Altarpiece. Klontzas’s Last Judgement resembles Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel. There are very close similarities. There is no indication that Klontzas saw the work but it is a possibility. According to the Institute of Neohellenic Research fifty-four items of his art exist today. More on Georgios Klontzas

Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, The OrientalistArt of the Nude and The Canals of VeniceMiddle East Artists365 Saints and 365 Days, also visit my Boards on Pinterest

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Author: zaidangallery

I search Art History for Beautiful works that may, or may not, have a secondary or unexpected story to tell. I then write short summaries that grow from my research. Art work is so much more when its secrets are exposed

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