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Gallery 8

Part of the Dori Papastratos Collection is displayed in gallery 8. It consists of 232 prints, dated between the 18th and 19th centuries, along with eight (8) wooden and copper engraved plates. The collection was donated to the Museum in 1994 by her daughters, Marina and Daphne Iliadis.

The Orthodox religious engravings, which form the Dori Papastratou Collection, represent a genre of western provenance that was adopted by the Orthodox Church c. in the mid-17th century. These were initially printed in European cities with strong Greek communities which had the necessary technology. Engraving workshops were later set up on Mount Athos and met the needs of the entire Orthodox world.

Objects from the collection of Dori Papastratos are presented in this gallery, namely an engraved copper plate and prints which were made in all the main places of production of religious prints, Venice, Vienna, Mount Athos, Constantinople. One of them, a commission by the Monastery of Sinai was printed in Lviv of Ukraine. Depicting panoramic views of monasteries with many vivid peripheral details, the engravings were the monasteries’ chief means of communicating with the outside world. They were distributed to the faithful as eulogia, ‘blessing’, encouraging them to give the monasteries financial support by making a pilgrimage. Some of them are extremely valuable as are the only surviving copies of their subject.

Various artefacts of the collection, which are not on permanent display, have been presented in temporary exhibitions both in Greece and abroad. These emphasized the significance of the collection and the special contribution of the collector who managed to bring valuable artistic material that was then of marginal interest to the attention of specialists and the general public alike.