Omorphi Ekklesia in the Patisia Neighbourhood of Athens, from the W. with Polygonal Remains

Department Archive
Collection BSA SPHS Image Collection
Reference No. BSA SPHS 01/0294.1525
Level Item
Description Glass negative, approximately full plate size, a copy negative.
Dimensions 19 x 12.5 cm
Place Omorphi Eklesia
Dates Latest 1897
Donor/Creator Leaf, Mr Walter
Scope and Content The original description in the SPHS register reads: "Byzantine Attica. Patissia. The Omorphi Eklesia from W. with polygonal remains".
Notes Unknown date, but based on numerous images donated by Walter Leaf that were catalogued SPHS 1502 to 1608 that appeared in the 1897 slide catalogue in the Journal of Hellenic Studies, it probably dates no later than 1897.
Further information This small distyle cross-in-square church in Galatsi, Athens was built in the late 12th c. It is dedicated to Hagios Georgios but it is known as the ‘Beautiful Church’ (‘Omorphi Ekklesia’) due to its elegant proportions and the impressive fresco decoration. In terms of architecture, it follows the middle Byzantine church-building tradition of the Greek mainland (‘Greek School’), however, the ornamental cloisonné is not consistently applied: the texture of the walling is much quieter, the exterior simpler. The narthex and the attached south chapel (parekklesion), which in terms of architecture bears strong western influences, are contemporary additions. The interior is decorated with wall-paintings produced by different artists during the second half of the 13th c. Stylistically, they can be associated with the wall-paintings of the Metropolis and the Hagioi Theodoroi church at Mistra, Peloponnese as well as with the surviving frescoes of the Olympiotissa church at Elassona, Thessaly.