Photis Kontogloy | 1895-1965

Occasionally, there has been an abundance of books which analyze the techniques of the orthodox ecclesial iconography. The most important, so-called the “Interpretation of Art Painting”, written by monk Dionysius (Fourna, 1730), congregates those instructions, notes and information contributing to the iconographer’s artwork. The interpretation of those techniques offered by Dionysius is, however, difficult to be applied thoroughly because of its vagueness.

At this point, Photis Kontogloy, a Greek writer, painter and icon painter, came to the icon art scene, filling the gap of the “Interpretation of Art Painting”. What he firstly did was to file the manuscripts of Dionysius and then he debugged them appropriately. Especially based on his long-term experience and his acquired knowledge, he started reading books and manuscripts from the past. The “Ekphrasis” of the Orthodox Iconography, the masterpiece of Kontogloy, gives profoundly to the readers the notion of the Bas Empire. The writer, dedicated to his mission, tries to represent the holy art and afterwards he highlights the richness of the Holy Scriptures in a simple way.

His students and followers, as artistic apostles and ambassadors, spread the icon art worldwide, drawing icons and holy scenes in temples and monasteries. Despite the fact that the eastern orthodox original art was despised in previous years, however, faculties, academies and also exhibitions are obviously appeared in accordance with various published books and works of literature for this purpose.

Contemporary iconographers and distinguished painters owe him a lot, like Yannis Tsarοuchis and Nikos Eggonopoulos. As a new artist in the icon art and inspired by the re-generator of the Orthodox Iconography, I wish to keep studying and focus on previous works in order to add a small stone for its maintenance.

source: Ekphrasis, Photis Kontoglou, 1961

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