The icons that were selected for the exhibition had mainly subjects inspired by the sea: depictions of miracles by saints related to the sea, like Saint Nicholas, or to specific islands, like Saint Spyridon patron saint of Corfu, or by saints that had some incident of their life related to sea, like Saint John the Hermit who crossed the sea on his cloak. Votive icons were also presented, that were related to marine adventures as well as icons depicting harbours, ships and themes related to the sea in general.
The 18 copper engravings presented in the exhibition "Harbours and Ships" were shown in public for the first time. They are dated in the 18th and 19th c., and depict harbours in Mount Athos, Sinai, Cyprus, Aegean Islands, and elsewhere. In all of them one could find detailed depictions of harbours and ships that provided a lot of information. In the copper engraving of Philotheou Monastery we see the big shipyard, while in the depiction of Docheiariou Monastery we see the harbour of the monastery, where many large and small sailing boats gather, documenting the intense sea traffic in the area in the beginning of the 19th c. In the chromolithography with the depiction of Saint Konstantinos from Hydra, we can see the city and the harbour of Hydra, with the ships carrying Greek flags in their masts.
Extracting information on harbours and shipsBy examining the exhibits, the visitor could extract information on various subjects, like the types of the ships, their evolution, the instruments used in their navigation, or their commercial activities. In the icons painted by Moskos for example, one can detect interesting ship types of the 17th and 18th c. In the icon with Virgin Hodegetria in the upper zone and a shipwreck in the lower, the type of the sinking ship is explicitly mentioned: tartana. In another icon, the one that Yannis Raphos dedicates to the Church of Christ in Kimolos, we can see instruments of navigation. Important information is also provided for post-Byzantine ships and settlements. A characteristic example is the icon of Saint Spyridon that has two zones. The narration of the miracle in the lower zone offers useful evidence on the architecture and landscape of the city of Kerkyra (Corfu) Apart from all the above, the icocnography preserves miracle stories but also information on more tangible matters. For example, the icon depicting the Transfer of the relics of Saint John the Crysostom, provides valuable information on the grand Byzantine Church of Hagioi Apostoloi in Constantinople.
The other exhibits
Apart from the icons and the copper engravings, the exhibition contained also 16 photographs from the last decade of 19th c. and the beginning of 20th c., from the collection of Georgios Lambakis, archaeologist and founding member of the Christian Archaeological Society. Here we have mainly depictions of harbours of Aegean islands (Siphnos, Mykonos, Delos, Tinos, Seriphos, Melos), of continental Greece (Antikyra, Aidepsos, Kavala) , as well as two harbours from Asia Minor (Smyrni, Phokaia). The exhibition contained also metal plaques silver-guilt plaques partially, marble skylights from Tinos, with marine and other subjects, clay vessels that are connected to shipwrecks of the Byzantine era, as well as a part of a wall painting from the 18th c. from the Church of the Virgin in Delphi.
From the museum's collection
- Monk in a ship
- The Vision of Constantine the Great
- Saint Theodora
- St Nicholas and Andrew flagging the icon of Virgin Hodegetria
- A miracle by Saint Spyridon
- Saint John the Hermit and scenes from his life
- Philotheou Monastery, Mount Athos.
- Docheiariou Monastery, Mount Athos.
- Saint Konstantinos from Hydra
- Saint Nicolas and scenes from his life
- St John Chrysostom, the widow's vineyard, and the transfer of his relic.
- The miracle of the Virgin
- Deesis and votive scene
- St Spyridon and his miracle in Kerkyra.
- The transfer of the relics of St John the Chrysostom