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Fresco Representing Crowned Men

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: Byzantine
: 14th century A.D.
: Fresco
: H: 25 cm (9.8 in) W: 24.5 cm (9.6 in)

Ex – German private collection, 1980s; succession S. Aboutaam, acquired before 1992.




Fragment of a fresco panel depicting a crowd of young crowned men. A line on the left marks the end of the table. The looks men turn to a point high up on the right. One of them looks down as we guess in the background the bottom of the face and downcast eyes of two others. They wear clothes richly adorned with precious stones and pearls. The crowns are consisting of a band inlaid with precious stones and bordered with pearls, surmounted by spikes decorated with colored stones in the style of western crowns.

This painting undoubtedly comes from a representation of a Last Judgment including the representation of the crowned old men mentioned in the Apocalypse in chapter IV, verse 4: “Around the throne I saw twenty-four thrones, and on these thrones twenty-four seated, clothed old men of white clothes, and crowns of gold on their heads. ” The crowned men are not represented here as old men but show the signs of adoration proper to this type of representation, their eyes turned or lowered as a sign of respect towards a point, towards Christ in glory, seated on a throne.

The painting can be stylistically attributed to the painting on a 14th century Balkan fresco century. This region is then shared between the Empire of Paleologists, Greater Serbia, Venice and Hungary. Western influence is perceptible in the description of the emotions of the faces more laughing and serene.


ACHEIMASTOU-POTAMIANOU M., Greek Art, Byzantine Wall-Paintings, Athènes, 1994.

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