The art of wood sculpture at Metsovo
Since Byzantine times there have survived noteworthy samples from the art of wood sculpture that was exercised mainly by folk artisans, the wood sculptors.
Exquisite ecclesiastical wood sculptured works have survived to the present day, these are the compositions of a civilisation that is expressed mainly from inside the ecclesiastical area. Regions that realised an exceptional development and range in the art of wood sculpture through the broader Balkans area, and even further, were Metsovo and Gorgopotamos (formerly Tournovo).
The wood sculptors originally based their art upon the Byzantine marble sculptures (Iconostases, Pulpits, Despotic thrones etc.) in order to continue it in wood.
Wood sculpture in all its forms has exercised and is exercising a specific charm on its originality and the source of its inspiration. More specifically, this art, which has been utilised for the decoration of residences and churches, has endowed us with masterpieces, actual monuments of art.
In the post Byzantine times the wood sculptor decorator succeeded in constituting a necessary and inseparable element in the liturgical operation of the church. The large variety of wood sculptured objects that decorate the churches such as the Iconostases, Pulpits, Despotic thrones etc., constitute works which in terms of aesthetics are valuable heirlooms of our civilization. The exquisite ecclesiastical wood sculptured works in the Epirus area that have survived to the present day are the compositions of a civilisation, which has been expressed from inside the ecclesiastical area.
We must also mention that wood sculptured works are not only for ecclesiastical decoration and use, but also for residential decoration and use. We refer as an example to the ceilings with the sculptured rotund as well as the sculptured distaffs or shepherds crooks.
The beginning had already commenced from the 13th century, a fact that also confirms the existence of an age old tradition. The first samples of wood sculptured iconostases in the prefecture Of Ioannina has already been encountered from the 12th century. We refer as an example to the wood sculptured sanctuary door at Perama in Ioannina that is presently situated in the Byzantine museum of Ioannina and has been dated between the 12th and the 14th century.
This age old tradition is still alive in our times, especially at Metsovo and it continues to produce noteworthy wood sculptured works.