An unknown donor portrait in Saint Nicholas Kasnitzes in Kastoria and the second decorative phase of the church
The church of Saint Nicholas Kasnitzes, located in the southeastern edge of Kastoria, is a single-aisled church with narthex, whose wall paintings are dated between the third quarter and the end of the 12th century. It is richly decorated with frescoes, among which the donor composition of the magistros Nikephoros Kasnitzes and his wife Anna.
Of particular interest is the discovery of another, later donor portrait located in the south wall of the naos. The donor, represented kneeling underneath a large-scale representation of saint Nicholas, can be associated with the renovation of the church which furthermore includes an exterior decoration. These frescoes are today preserved in fragmentary condition but can be identified. The east pediment is adorned with the patron saint Nicholas receiving the priestly offices reproducing the theme from the original layer. The north Blind arch is decorated with the !ree of Jess while the apostles Peter and Paul are placed next to the door. This second phase can be dated - due to stylistic comparisons- in the second half of the 14th century, a period of intense activity in the city of Kastoria, characterized mainly by the refurbishment of older churches by local donors.
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