Monastery of Vatopedi through old engravings

16 November 2012

The engravings of Mount Athos played an important role in the late art of icon painting. They first appeared in the 17th century and were practiced in Mt. Athos in the late 18th century. Woodcuts and copper engravings were the most popular works of the Athonian spiritual and visual culture. That period four workshops were established at Karyes.

The first teacher of important method for producing images in the school of Fine Arts (1843-1865), was an Athonite engraver, the monk Agathaggelos Triantafyllou. It is estimated that the number of engravings circulating among people in Greece, the Balkans and Russia, must be very large.

Furthermore, till the end of the 19th, as the art of engraving flourished that period, visitors of M. Athos frequently recorded their visits in drawings and these were often reproduced as engravings or woodcuts for the benefit of those who could not actually go there1.  These series of engravings have been collected by professor Paul Mylonas who composed a book with them.

Professor Mylonas, is architect who devoted many years of his life to a study of the history, buildings and art of Mount Athos. The purpose of his book was to make known to a wider public the monastic foundations of the enxtraordinary world of M. Athos, using to this end illustrations taken form old engravings or from frescoes and icons of the Holy Mountain2.

The following works are part of that delightful collection of professor Paul Mylonas. They have been chosen illustrations from monastery of Vatopedi.

1.Paul M. Mylonas, Athos and its monastic institutions through old engravings and other works of art, Athens 1963, p. 12.

2.Paul M. Mylonas, Athos…., Athens 1963, p.12

i. View of Mount Athos and its monasteries

Popular reproduction of the large print of Venice. Note that the artist, wishing to represent both sides of the promontory simultaneously has given the mountain a double peak.

Medium: Copper engraving

Artisti: The Monk Dionysios.

Date: 1889

In the possession of: National Gallery of Art, Athens
ii. Monastery of Vatopedi (Detail)

Medium: Copper engraving


Date: 1792

In the possession of: National Gallery of Art, Athens
iii. Monastery of Vatopedi (Detail)

Medium: Copper engraving

Artisti:Nicolas, from the ιsland of Chios, painter.

Date: 1817 (printed in Constantinople)

In the possession of: Monastery of Caracallou

iv. The Royal Galley with the Greek Flag before the Monastery of Vatopedi

Arcadius (one of the founders of Vatopedi) is being saved from the sea by the Theotokos (In Virgin Mary). In the background the three masted schooner of the monastery and Arcadius leading the Monks toward the Vatos

Medium: Copper engraving

Artisti: Unknown

Date: 1792

In the possession of: National Gallery of Art, Athens