La Serenissima in Cyprus: aspects of Venetian art on the edge of a maritime empire, 1474/89–1570/1

Anthi Andronikou*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article investigates the manifestation of Venetian visual culture of the Renaissance in the island of Cyprus, which, between 1474/89 and 1570/1, stood as one of Venice’s Mediterranean colonies. To date, scholarship on panel and wall painting production of Venetian Cyprus has devoted careful attention to the infiltration of Italian details and styles in the broader sense—mainly drawn from the Italian Middle Ages—thus failing to notice any correlations between Cypriot visual arts and contemporary Venetian. In this study, I aim to provide an overarching perspective that will illuminate the presence and assimilation of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Venetian visual vocabulary in Cypriot artistic capital. With an emphasis on devotional painting, I will examine iconographic schemes, such as the Man of Sorrows and the Holy Conversation, and facets of stylistic and iconographic correspondences between the two territories. I will also probe the architectural function, purpose, and tenor of lunette-shaped panels in Cyprus and collate them with their Venetian equivalents. Put simply, I hope to flesh out the artistic contact Cypriot artists and their sponsors maintained with Venice rather than with Italy as a whole.
Original languageEnglish
Article number186
Number of pages52
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2023


  • Renaissance Venice
  • Venetian Cyprus
  • Man of Sorrows
  • Sacra Conversazione
  • Lunette-shaped panels
  • Artistic contacts
  • Icon and wall painting


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