«Ο ζωγραφικός διάκοσμος του Αγίου Αθανασίου Κουστοχωρίου Ημαθίας και η σχέση του με το Καστοριανό εργαστήρι», ΔΧΑΕ 24 (2003), σ. 257-266.
Λέξεις κλειδιά: Άγιος Αθανάσιος, Κουστοχώρι, Ημαθία, Ζωγραφική, Τέχνη, Καστοριανό εργαστήρι
Keywords: St Athanasios, Koustochori, Imathia, Painting, Art, Workshop of Kastoria
Ο μονόχωρος ναός του Αγίου Αθανασίου στο Κουστοχώρι Ημαθίας διασώζει τον ζωγραφικό του διάκοσμο που χρονολογείται στις τελευταίες δεκαετίες του 15ου αιώνα. Από άποψη διάταξης, επιλογής των θεμάτων καθώς και από εικονογραφική, ο διάκοσμος παρουσιάζει μεγάλες ομοιότητες με άλλους που ανήκουν ή αποδίδονται στο καστοριανό εργαστήρι. Ωστόσο, τεχνοτροπικά ο διάκοσμος του Αγίου Αθανασίου εντάσσεται σε ένα καλλιτεχνικό ρεύμα έντονα αντικλασικό, στο οποίο ανήκουν σύνολα της ίδια εποχής στην ευρύτερη περιοχή της Βέροιας.
Karagianni Flora, The painted decoration in the church of St. Athanasios at Koustochori, Imathia and its relationship with the Kastoria workshop.
The Post-Byzantine aisleless church of St Athanasios (5.25x3.85 m.) at Koustochori, Imathia, preserves painted decoration from the last quarter of the fifteenth century. The surviving wall-paintings display iconographie and stylistic characteristics that are encountered in painting ensembles which have been attributed directly to the Kastoria workshop or to late fifteenth-century artistic currents that developed under its influence.
More specifically, the arrangement of the decoration in zones, with medallions above and the full-bodied saints below, between which decorative bands are interposed, the presence of vegetal ornaments filling the spandrels between the medallions, as well as the formation of painted arches beneath which the full-bodied saints are shown, are elements that occur in the old katholikon of the monastery of the Metamorphosis (Mégalo Meteoro) at Meteora, which is dated 1483/4 and considered to be one of the first and most notable works of the Kastoria workshop.
Concurrently, iconographie similarities observed between the representations in the small church of St Athanasios and comparable works of the Kastoria workshop bespeak the appeal this workshop had for painters in the provinces, who undertook to decorate usually small-scale monuments. Characteristic is the similarity in the scene of the Transfiguration, on the pedimental section of the east wall of the little church at Koustochori, which seems to copy the iconography of the central part of the corresponding representation at Meteora (1483/4).
Analogous similarities are also recognized in the rendering of the soldier-saints George and Demetrios, who are depicted in typical court costume, with the opulent garments, distinctive crescent-shaped caps and affected poses (Fig. 4) that are also encountered in monuments of the Kastoria workshop (Panaghia monastery at Torniki, Grevena (1481/2), old katholikon of the Metamorphosis monastery at Meteora (1483/4), St Nicholas of the nun Eupraxia (1485/6), Koimesis monastery at Treskavac (late 15th c).
However, whereas it is clear that the iconographie models for the wall-paintings at Koustochori derive from monuments historiated by the Kastoria workshop, their stylistic rendering is dominated by anticlassical traits that are also present in other provincial works of the late fifteenth century. Among the typical representatives of this trend are the wall-paintings in the katholikon of the Panaghia monastery at Torniki, Grevena, which are dated 1481/2, and those in the small church of the Sts Theodore in the castle of Servia, dated 1497. The painted decoration in the Koustochori church, which in its rendering has many traits in common with the wall-paintings in the church of the Virgin Gorgoepikoos at Veroia, which are the work of a local workshop, is dated in the same period (last two decades of 15th century). In general, the decoration in St Athanasios at Koustochori, Imathia, follows iconographie schemes that echo the influence of the activity of the Kastoria workshop on the artistic output of western and central Macedonia (Grevena, Kozani, Kastoria, Pieria, Imathia) in the late fifteenth century. Nevertheless, the execution not only attests to the local painters' inability to produce works of comparable artistic value, but also establishes the monument as yet another product of the anticlassical current in art, identified in Macedonia in this period.