St Pantaleimon - Nerezi

It was erected and frescoed in 1164 as an endowment from Alexis Angelos Komnenos, a member of the ruling dynasty. The monastery Saint Panteleimon is ranked among the peak achievements of the Byzantine art.

For this contributes also the fresco painting that covers the walls of the church. The anthology fresco scenes of the descent from the Cross. What distinguish this fresco-painting from the others painted in the same period are the realistic approach and the psychological content of the portraits.

Without the subdued approach that previously characterized the sacral art, the depiction of the Holy Mother of God in the "Lamentation of Christ". The painful weeping of the mother that lost her son, the depth of feelings that are visible in her face make this fresco painting different from what was previously considered as canonized and strict program of presentation, and with the realistically presented human suffering, that is consuming by its universality in its meaning and symbolism, all of it puts this Nerezi zograph on the very pinnacle of the Byzantine, and not only Byzantine, artistic achievements of all times. 

It is a general notion that these frescoes contain the seeds of the new renaissance movement, but not less than 140 years before Giotto, the first Italian renaissance painter.

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