Saint Vrakophori and Fustanelades

A special exhibition entitled “Saint Vrakophori and Fustanelades”, of rare works of Christian art, is presented at the Museum of Christian Art "Agia Aikaterini Sinaiton" (Museum of Agia Aikaterini as most people know it), in Heraklion, Crete.

For the first time, the public will be able to see collected images depicting Neomartyrs of the Greek Church in traditional costumes, breeches (vrakes in Greek) and fustanelles (white knee-length pleated skirt worn by Greek men) and to follow the evolution of the iconography of the Neomartyrs from the early post-revolutionary years (1830s) until today. The works were mainly collected from churches in Crete and the rest of Greece and are exhibited in the uniquely beautiful space of the Museum, which is housed in the old church of Agia Aikaterini, built in its original form as early as the 13th century.

The exhibition "Saint Vrakophori and Fustanelades. Icons of New Martyrs from Crete and other regions" is of visual, religious, national, and social interest and reveals the multiple significance of clothing in Christian art. Orthodox hagiography through clothing captured and preserved information from the everyday life of each era, providing valuable folklore and historical information. In the works of this exhibition, however, the role of costume is even more important, as many of them were painted during in difficult times and in regions that had not yet been incorporated into the Greek state (19th - early 20th century). The exhibition will feature a total of 46 hagiographies from Greece, Asia Minor and Pontus. Among them are the famous Saint George Fustanelas from Ioannina, the Vrakophore Saint Manolis of Sfakia, the Four New Martyrs of Rethymno by Ioannis Fragopoulos, the Fustanelas Saints of Samothrace, Saint Argyri of Prusa and many more hagiographies of unique beauty and rarity. The oldest work in the exhibition dates back to 1836 while the newest ones reach up to our days.

The exhibition is part of the 2nd Festival of Crete, organised by the Region of Crete. The "Festival of Crete" is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.

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