Kaisariani Monastery

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/01/01/01/220
Level Item
Place Kaisariani Monastery
Dates 1888-1890
Donor/Creator Weir Schultz, Mr Robert
Barnsley, Mr Sidney Howard
Scope and Content Bema window and closure slab. The drawing depicts the bema window of the church and a marble closure slab. The window is double of the so-called 'grouped-type': the whole window is embraced in a single arch within which the individual lights are arched separately. The tympanum filling is in curvilinear form: the tile-courses follow concentrically the curve of the subsidiary arches and the individual units are themselves curved. This is one of the best examples of the type. The slab is decorated with foliate and geometrical patterns. Further annotation in pencil survives.
Further information The church of Panagia Kaisariani is the katholikon of the homonymous monastic complex built on the west slope of Hymettos, Attica. The church, which is dedicated to the feast of the Presentation of the Virgin, is named after either the founder of the monastic complex or a miraculous icon of the Virgin which was transferred from Kaisareia to Attica.
It is a tetrastyle cross-in-square church with octagonal dome decorated, in contrast to the Athenian-type domes, with rectilinear dentil cornice and eight single-lobe windows surrounded by two rows of brick arches. The cloisonné masonry of the exterior walls is impressively simple, almost devoid of Kufic inserts, ornamental brickwork and the vertical single cut bricks between the ashlar blocks.

In the interior, the four columns which support the dome are ancient spolia. The narthex, according to the surviving inscription, was built and decorated in 1682 by the Peloponnesian painter Ioannis Hypatios at the instigation of members of the powerful Venizelos family. The wall-paintings of the nave date to the 18th c. The Enthroned Virgin depicted in the apse of the bema copies an icon by Emmanuel Tzane (1664). The attached south chapel is a post-Byzantine addition. The church has convincingly been assigned a date about 1100.