Triptych with a depiction of the Deesis

The triptych depicts the Deesis. The central leaf depicts Christ as King and Great High Priest. In the upper part, in a semi-circular formation of clouds, God the Father is shown blessing with one hand and holding the globe with the other. In front of him, within the cloud, the Holy Ghost is painted in the type of a white dove. The side leaves contain depictions of the Virgin (left) and John the Baptist (right), both facing Christ in a posture of supplication and holding open scrolls. At the arched end of each leaf, the busts of angels are depicted, also holding fluttering scroll inscribed with texts. The painter Panaretos, who has signed the triptych, uses gentle modelling on the faces, which exude grace. He has also signed the text on the scroll held by the Baptist, which is partly dedicatory in nature: “ΕΚ ΔΕΞΙ(ΩΝ) /ΔΕCΠΟΤΑ ΤΟΥ CΟΥ / ΘΡΟΝΟΥ, ΑΞΙΩCΟΝ / Θ(ΕΟ)Ν, ΥΜΝΟΛΟ / ΓΟΥΝΤ(ΑC) CΕ ΜΟΝΟΝ / ΧΕΙΡ ΠΑΝΑΡΕ / ΤΟΥ Μ(ΟΝΑ)ΧΟΥ ΚΩΟΥ” [Grant, Oh Lord, (to stand) on the right of thy throne those who hymn thee as unique God, Hand of the monk Panaretos of Kos]. Apart from being objects of personal piety, triptychs with representations of the Deesis had a liturgical character and were embraced by priests and prelates as they dressed.

Skampavias K. 2007. Catalogue no. 207, in Skampavias K.—Chatzidakis N. (eds), Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum.Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art, Athens, 400–403.