Painting-hagiography originated from Chionades and in Kapesovo
The art of hagiography, which is pre-eminently an ecclesiastic art, as well as of painting in the broader sense, decorative as a rule, recognized an exceptional development in the broader Epirus region and more specifically at the villages Chionades in the Konitsa region and Kapesovo at Zagorion.
The village of Chionades in the Konitsa region, which is presently an Administrative Division in the Mastrohorion Municipality, was renowned for its hagiographers. Predominantly in the 18th and the 19th century and even at the beginning of the 20th century, the hagiographers from this village travelled throughout the Balkans and left behind them a legacy of renowned works in both churches and residences. They were simultaneously occupied with ecclesiastic painting, hagiography (portable icons, icons for the iconostasis, murals), and with popular - secular painting. The most impressive factor in their works has been the influence of the European Baroque and Rococo styles in the decoration of residences and churches, as well as their adaptability to the prevailing styles and trends, a phenomenon that is not only evident in the Chionades painters nor was it exclusive to painting. It can be said that this phenomenon has been most intensely noted in wood sculpture.
More specifically in relation to painting, the wide existence of engraved models from the European Baroque and Rococo styles (lithographs and copper plate etchings) has been associated with the appearance and the transmission of certain motifs, which have predominated over time. These in turn have been assimilated, at a later stage and have been moderated by the profound traditional perception. The agility in the Baroque and Rococo decorative elements, the realism and the naturalism, were easily adapted to the local popular complexion as well as to the traditional Byzantine models.Even in the decoration of the residences, the same hagiographers painters have endowed us with spectacular works depicting scenes from nature, tradition and history.
Kapesovo is one of the traditional villages at Zagorion and is renowned for its hagiographers. The period of their peak was in the 18th and the first half of the 19th century, whilst their activities spread throughout the regions of Western Macedonia and the Ioannina prefecture with its present day borders.
They painted portable icons and icons for the iconostasis, they created murals for the monasteries and parish churches, which were mainly based upon the huge Byzantine tradition.
Their art is considered to be amongst the most noteworthy in the specific period for the Orthodox faith and the paintings in their entirety that have been handed down are amongst the most complete, based on tradition, without however lacking originality.
The western influences on the Kapesovo hagiographers are limited, they have however been elaborated assimilated into the entire work, so as to be barely discernible.