Kostandin Shpataraku

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An icon attributed to Kostandin Shpataraku, bought by Hetem Ramadani in 2010.

Kostandin Shpataraku (fl. 1736–67) was an Albanian painter of 18th century.

Early life[edit]

Kostandin Shpataraku was born in Valesh village, Shpat region in Albania. The region is located in the southern highland of Elbasan, Albania, in today's Gjinar, formerly in the Ottoman Empire.[1][2]


Shpataraku was a painter in the Orthodox tradition of icons and Byzantine church frescoes, active between 1736 and 1767. His works combine Byzantine tradition and Italian Renaissance influences.[2]


Shpataraku was beheaded by the Ottomans in Elbasan. His family took his body and buried him in his village, head apart from the rest of the body, so the Ottomans could not find his exact grave. A small chapel was built later to commemorate him. He is also commemorated as a saint by the locals, on September 21.[1]


Many of his icons are in Ardenica Monastery, St. Jovan Vladimir's Church near Elbasan, Vithkuq, and in the "Museum of Medieval Art" in Korce. Many of his works belong to private collections.[2] In 2010, an icon painting attributed to him was sold to Hetem Ramadani for 75,000 euros at a charity ball hosted by Liri Berisha, wife of the Albanian premier. The icon had formerly been in the ownership of the family of the modern painter, Alush Shima.[3]


  1. ^ a b Tomb and works of Kostandin Shpataraku (in Albanian)
  2. ^ a b c Robert Elsie (2010), Historical Dictionary of Albania, Historical Dictionaries of Europe, 75 (2 ed.), Scarecrow Press, p. 416, ISBN 978-0810861886 
  3. ^ Albania Struggles to Catalogue its Unknown Treasures. BalkanInsight, 30 October 2010. Retrieved 10 November 2015.

External links[edit]