Papageorgiou Nikolaos, The Cemetery Church of Saint Demetrius in Taxiarchis near Grevena
The cemetery church of saint Demetrius is located outside the village Taxiarchis, about 20 km northeast of Grevena. It is a single-aisled wooden-roof basilica with a narthex. Its external dimensions are 15, 57 ⏡ 4, 82 m. The church has got only one entrance, in the midpoint of the western wall.
The first band runs round the church with the depictions of saints in full-length. The lower part of the scenes is damaged. The second band is occupied by scenes of the Dodekaorton. The west wall is occupied by the scene of the «Dormition of the Virgin» and above the entrance we find the place of the inscription, now illegible.
The only information we can get from the inscription is the name of the saint of the church and the name of the bishop of Grevena.
The painted decoration of the church follows a typical iconographical program. The Semi-dome of the apse is adorned with a depiction of the Platytera. The niche of the Prothesis is occupied by the theme of the Man of Sorrows of Christ. On the façade of the eastern wall, over the arch, there are the depictions of the Ascension of Christ and the Holy Mandylion of Christ attached to the trees in the background of the scene. The motive of the attached to the trees Mandylion is a characteristic element of the 16th and 17th centuries’ churches in W. Macedonia.
The Dodekaorton scenes on the south wall are painted without any movement and correct proportions, while the painted forms on the north wall have better plasticity and naturalness. The inverted triangle below the eyes is a special feature of the painter’s technique.
The differences on the way the Dodekaorton scenes are painted in the south and the north wall, allow us to assume that two painters worked in the church.
The painting of the church has iconographic and stylistic similarities with otherchurches of the 17th century, like the church of St. Demetrios Apostolaki’s in Kastoria, St. Demetrios in Aiani and other churches Elassona.
The common iconographic elements between the churches of W. Macedonia and Elassona (Thessaly) allow us to conclude that the church of St. Demetrius in Taxiarchis was painted during the first decades of the 17th century by the groups of painters that moved and worked in both areas.