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Theotokos' head, Kalamos

Area: Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens
Date: 1st half of the 13th century


Theotokos is depicted frontally till the chest. She wears a dark red maphorion tightly wrapped around her body. She bears an ochre halo framed by a dark red line. Halo fragments are visible on the right and left, probably belonging to angels or Apostles surrounding the Virgin Mary. The representation is part of a wider synthesis, possibly the Ascension of Christ. The figure with the calm and serious expression has delicate features defined by strong outlines. The shaping of the naked flesh is tight. Stylistically, the painting of the church in Kalamos is connected with the local workshops of Attica during the 13th century.

The church of Hagios Nikolaos lies in the Cemetery of Kalamos outside of the village. It is a cross-vaulted church, which is built on an older temple, dated to the 13th century. It is rubble masonry without brick-work or dentil courses. From the wall paintings decorating the interior only fragments from the roof have been preserved, mainly saints’ and angels’ faces.