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02 February 2019

Beards that matter. Visual representations of Patriarch Ignatios in Byzantine art

Zograf
Beards that matter. Visual representations of Patriarch Ignatios in Byzantine art

The paper discusses twelve visual depictions that in all likelihood represent St. Ignatios of Constantinople and were created between the ninth and the thirteenth century. Most of these depictions show Patriarch Ignatios beardless, which reflects the fact that he was a eunuch of the ἐκτομίας category. The paper analyzes two iconographical elements distinctive of his portraits: beardlessness and youthful appearance. It concludes that, on the one hand, the artists who painted the beardless portraits of Ignatios strove to depict the saint as realistically as possible; while, on the other hand, his beardless and youthful appearance also had a metaphorical meaning and served to highlight the chastity and purity of the eunuch saint.

Source: Krsmanović B., Milanović L. (2017). Beards that matter. Visual representations of Patriarch Ignatios in Byzantine art. Zograf. Vol. 41: 25-36

Source web-site: http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0350-1361/2017/0350-13611741025K.pdf

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