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The Radiance of Heaven
Greek Icons from the Velimezis Collection

16.03.2007 to 10.06.2007


An exhibition of the Sculpture Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art in Berlin, the Benaki Museum in Athens and the Griechische Kulturstiftung Berlin

The icons presented in this exhibition belong to the Velimezis Collection, built up by Emilios Velimezis (1902-1946) between 1934 and 1946. The collection originally comprised some 90 icons from various regions of Greece, dating from the 15th to 19th centuries. It brings together examples of all artistic movements in Greece since 1453, the year Constantinople was taken by the Ottomans.

Most of the icons were produced in painting workshops on Crete, at a time when Crete was a Venetian province (15th to 16th centuries) and icon painting was experiencing its heyday. Among the most splendid works are the Madonna Hodegetria, the Madonna Glykophilousa from the school of Andreas Ritzos and an icon dedicated to the 24 verses of the hymn of Akathistos. The most important work of this period, which at the same time is the highlight of the collection, is the icon of the Passion of Christ - Pietà with Angels attributed to Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco).