Monday, August 31, 2020

07 works, Today, August 31st, is the Cincture of the Theotokos' day, it"s story illustrated #243

Unknown artist
The Cincture (Sash) and the Most Holy Mother of God
I have no further description, at this time

The Cincture of the Theotokos
is an alleged relic of the Theotokos (Blessed Virgin Mary), now in the Vatopedi monastery on Mount Athos, which is venerated by some members of the Orthodox Church. The word "cincture" (Greek: zone) is sometimes also translated as "belt", "sash" or "girdle". It is the Orthodox equivalent of the Girdle of Thomas in the Western church, and the Syriac Holy Girdle.

El Greco, (1541–1614) 
Dormition of the Virgin, before 1567
Tempera and gold on panel
61.4 × 45 cm (24.1 × 17.7 in)
Holy Cathedral of the Dormition of the Virgin, Ermoupoli, Syros, Greece

Doménikos Theotokópoulos (1541 Р7 April 1614), most widely known as El Greco; Spanish for "The Greek", was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. The nickname "El Greco" refers both to his Greek origin and Spanish citizenship. The artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters.


El Greco was born in Crete, which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the center of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before traveling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570 he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings.


El Greco's dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting. More on El Greco

According to the Sacred Tradition of the Orthodox Church, at the time of her Dormition, the Theotokos was buried by the Twelve Apostles in Jerusalem. 

Unknown artist
The Apostles carried her bier in procession and sang with the angels
I have no further description, at this time

Three days later, Thomas the Apostle, who had been delayed and unable to attend the funeral, arrived and asked to have one last look at the Virgin Mary. When he and the other apostles arrived at Mary's Tomb, they found that her body was missing. 

Unknown artist
The Virgin Mary appeared at that time and gave her belt (cincture) to the Apostle Thomas
I have no further description, at this time

Unknown artist
The Appearance of the Blessed Virgin Mary to
Sts. Monica and Thomas handing over
the cincture
I have no further description, at this time

According to some accounts, the Virgin Mary appeared at that time and gave her belt (cincture) to the Apostle Thomas. 

Unknown artist
The Placing of the Cincture (Sash) of the Mother of God
I have no further description, at this time

The Placing of the Venerable Belt of the Most Holy Theotokos in a church of Constantinople’s Chalcoprateia district took place during the reign of the emperor Theodosius the Younger. 

Traditionally, the cincture was made by the Virgin Mary herself, out of camelhair. It was kept at Jerusalem for many years, until it was translated to Constantinople in the 5th century, together with the Robe of the Virgin Mary, and deposited in the Church of St. Mary at Blachernae.

During the reign of Emperor Leo the Wise (886-911), his wife Zoe was afllicted with an unclean spirit, and he prayed that God would heal her.

Unknown artist
Detail; Leo VI before the Christ
Hagia Sophia

The empress had a vision that she would be healed of her infirmity if the Belt of the Mother of God were placed upon her. The emperor then asked the Patriarch to open the coffer. The Patriarch removed the seal and opened the coffer in which the relic was kept, and the Belt of the Mother of God appeared completely whole and undamaged by time. The Patriarch placed the Belt on the sick empress, and immediately she was freed from her infirmity. They placed the venerable Belt back into the coffer and resealed it.

 This relic was embroidered with gold thread by the Empress Zoe, the wife of Emperor Leo VI, in gratitude for a miraculous cure. More on the Cincture of the Theotokos

Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, The OrientalistArt of the Nude and The Canals of VeniceMiddle East Artistsand 365 Saints, also visit my Boards on Pinterest

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