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Fresco of Serbian king Stefan Dečanski at Visoki Dečani monastery holding a small monastery in his hands; this signifies that he is the ktitor of the monastery.

Ktetor (Greek: κτήτωρ) or ktitor (Cyrillic: ктитор; Georgian: ქტიტორი kt’it’ori; Romanian: ctitor), meaning 'founder', is a title given in the Middle Ages to the provider of funds for construction or reconstruction of an Eastern Orthodox church or monastery, for the addition of icons, frescos, and other works of art. It was used in the Byzantine sphere. A Catholic equivalent of the term is donator. At the time of founding, the ktetor often issued typika, and was illustrated on frescoes ("ktetor portrait"). The female form is ktetorissa (Greek: κτητόρισσα) or ktitoritsa (Cyrillic: ктиторица).


  • Thomas, John P. (1987). Private Religious Foundations in the Byzantine Empire. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks. ISBN 9780884021643.
  • Geoffrey Wainwright (2006). The Oxford History of Christian Worship. Oxford University Press, USA. pp. 287–. ISBN 978-0-19-513886-3.