ʻH 'Anáctacic [The Anastasis] : a study of the iconographical development of the Anastasis in monumental mosaic and fresco decoration during the Macedonian, Commenian, and Palaeologian dynasties
Barnard, Kathleen M.
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The Anastasis, a theological triptych, is the Eastern Orthodox symbol for the Resurrection of Christ and the resultant restoration of eternal life to Humankind. The iconography itself is extracted from the New Testament Apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, Part II, the Acts of Pilate. Though no direct mention of the Anastasis is made in the Bible, its related themes, i.e., Christ as the "Second Adam" and "The Light of the world," cannot be overlooked as contributory to the liturgical and soteriological essence of the Anastasis. The Canonical Gospel, Matthew 27:45—54, account of the Crucifixion adds significant impetus to its dogmatic content. The soteriological essence of the Anastasis is further strengthened through a direct, three-fold interrelationship and interaction between: 1) the above mentioned sources, as well as the Orthodox Lenten Liturgy and Hymnology, especially the Triodion and the Pente- costarion, 2) the dogmatic significance of the iconography, and 3) the worshipper. It is the intent of this thesis to reveal this integral relationship, in chronological order, with the iconography of the Anastasis as it is manifested in monumental depictions in Byzantine churches from the 11th through the 14th century. Chapter I investigates Biblical, Canonical Gospel, and Apocryphal Gospel sources for the Anastasis iconography. Chapter II discusses some of the earliest known monumental depictions of the Anastasis, specifically, those of the Church of St. Barbara (A.D. 1006 or 1021), in Cappadocia; Hosios Lukas (A.D. 1000— 1020), Nea Moni (A.D. 1040—1060) and Daphni (A.D. 1080—1100), in Greece. Chapter III examines the Anastasis theme in the churches of St. George at Kurbinovo (c. A.D. 1191), The Holy Trinity at Sopofiani, (c. A.D. 1265), Joachim and Anne at Studenica, (A.D. 1313—1314), and finally, the Holy Apostles (A.D. 1312—1315) and St. Nicolas Orphanos (A.D. 1310—1320) at Thessaloniki. Chapter IV deals with the Palaeologian Dynasty Church of Chora (c. A.D. 1303—1321), in Constantinople, where the climax of the Anastasis iconography is reached. A conclusion summarizes the four chapters and emphasizes significant examples of the interaction of the iconography with ecclesiastical texts and hymnology.