The collection of post-Byzantine icons in the Exhibition:“Mother of God, the OxeiaEpiskepsis” (17th-20th c.) is representative of the varied artistic trends of the workshops, mainly those of 19th century in northern Greece and Mount Athos.
In theselatest icons of the Collection (19th c.), "Athonite painting" is worthily represented, as formed by the two dominant artistic workshops of Mount Athos of the period: that of Nikephoros"from Agrafa" (†1812), originating from Karpenissi, and that of Makarios (†1814) from Galatista (Halkidiki). In the Collection, the painterIakovosof Mount-Athos, a disciple of Nikephoros "from Agrapha",signed the icon of Christ (1829)on the iconostasis of the church of St. John the Baptist, while Athanasios of Galatistapaintedfour despotic icons (1832-1833), for the iconostasis of the church of St. John the Theologian (Kakouna).
Subsequently, the brothersDimitrios and Eleftherios of Agrafa, disciples ofIakovos, painted the icons ofthe Virgin“Hodegetria” (1837) and of the Synaxis of the Archangels (1842),respectively.Works of the two brothers, scatteredmainly over Makrinitsa and Portaria, combined with the earlier activity of their masterIakovos, confirm the establishment of a local workshop of decisive influence on the ecclesiastical painting of the region.
In the middle of the 19th century the painter Pantazis put his signature to a significant number of icons in the Collection, as did the prolific Margaritis Makrinitziotis, son of avillage elder of Makrinitsa. Though the former was more consistent with traditional forms and the latter was receptive to novelties, they were both influenced by the local workshop of Iakovos and his disciples.
By contrast, the signed icons of Dimitrios C. Grekos (1881) represent the dominant artistic trend of the time with the ever-increasing adoption of Western elements in ecclesiastical painting.
Three icons, signed by the popular painter Theophilus (1911, 1912, 1916), hold a special placein the Collection as remarkable examples of his ecclesiasticalworks, the main characteristic of which is the fruitful reception of forsaken aesthetic values of the post-Byzantine painting, through his distinctive artistic idiom.