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Celebrating Faith in Late Byzantium: The Valadoros Epitaphios at the Benaki Museum
This talk, delivered by Professor Anastasia Drandaki, presents the story of the exciting discovery of the Valadoros Epitaphios, a rare, gold-embroidered fourteenth- century epitaphios and a true masterpiece of Byzantine art. The epitaphios is part of the bequest of the siblings Anastasios and Maria Valadoros, which includes more than 300 icons and a large number of ancient and ecclesiastical artifacts, rare editions and incunabula. The Valadoros collection is representative of the taste as well as the ﬁnances of a particularly cultivated representative of a ﬂourishing middle class, which maintained contact with scholars, dealers, and collectors both from Greece and abroad. However, the content of the collection is eminently Hellenocentric. In the person of Tasos Valadoros, profound knowledge of ancient philosophy and the patristic texts was combined with his deep familiarity with the texture of silk fabrics. At the same time, his profession as a merchant of luxury ecclesiastical textiles brought him into contact and relations of mutual respect with prelates from the entire Orthodox world.
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