Hagios Vasileios

Department Archive
Collection Byzantine Research Fund
Reference No. BRF/01/01/09/043
Level Item
Description Pencil, Paper
Dimensions 31.7 x 45.7 cm (H x L)
Place Hagios Vasileios
Arta
Dates 1890
Creator Weir Schultz, Mr Robert
Barnsley, Mr Sidney Howard
Scope and Content A preliminary drawing showing the east elevation of the church, looking west on the front. Unfinished annotated pencil sketches of the two ceramic relief icons that decorate the eastern tympanon of the church survive on the back. Further annotation survives in pencil both on the front ('St Basil Arta') and the back ('St Basil Arta'; '1.6').
Further information The church of Hagios Vasileios at Arta dates to the end of the 13th century and is a wooden-roofed one-aisled basilica with two subsidiary aisles. The eastern halves of these aisles functioned as independent chapels while the function of the western halves is unknown.The exterior decoration of the church is typical of the architecture of the Despotate of Epirus, one of the independent Greek states established after the fall of Constantinople in 1204 along with the empires of Nicaea and Trebizond. The ornamental brick inserts in elaborate shapes enliven the exterior walls on all four sides of the building. Large brick courses of geometric patterns, mainly chequerboard, in three or four colours decorate in continuous friezes the north and east sides. Two glazed relief icons, one of the Crucifixion and another one depicting the Three Hierarchs, decorate the lower part of the lateral semi-arches which flank the two-light windows in the east gable. No sculpture survives in the church but the interior walls are covered with post-Byzantine wall-paintings.