Happenings 03
COLLECTIONS / Best of Museum

Bema Door with the Annunciation and the apostles Peter and Paul

This Bema door of two leafs comes from the sanctuary gate of a church representing the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary in the upper part and the apostles in the lower part.  The scene of the Annunciation is set in front of high buildings; the Archangel is depicted on the left approaching with rapid steps; the Virgin raises her right hand in a gesture of receiving Gabriel’s message, while in her left hand she holds a spindle. Apostles Peter and Paul are presented symmetrically having their faces turned to each other in the centre of the composition; the first one with his right hand in a gesture of speaking and holding keys and a scroll in his left hand; Paul holds with both hands a closed Gospel.

The scene of Annunciation constitutes par excellence the subject for the decoration of bema doors, as it precedes the Devine Incarnation and the Christ’s Crucifixion, while it is related to the Liturgy that is taking place in the Bema. The iconography of the theme became crystallised in 14th century. The style of this artpiece is included in the 14th century Constantinopolitan art and the art of the early Cretan School of 15th century.



BEI 97


Bema door


15th century


Height 122 cm; width 69.5 cm; thickness 4.8 cm

Material of Construction

Wood; egg tempera


D. Economopoulos Collection