Zografi Brothers

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The brothers Kostandin Zografi and Athanas Zografi were Albanian painters of the 18th century from Dardhë, in modern Korçë municipality, southern Albania (then Ottoman Empire).[1] They are regarded as the most prominent painters of the Albanian post-Byzantine icon art of the 18th century and generally of the region of Epirus.[2] Along with David Selenicasi, Kostandin Shpataraku, Terpo Zografi, Efthim Zografi, Gjon Çetiri, Naum Çetiri, Gjergj Çetiri, Nikolla Çetiri, and Ndin Çetiri[3] they represent the School of Korçë painting.[4][5]


The Zografi brothers have decorated with their paintings several Orthodox churches and monasteries throughout central and southern modern Albania, as well as Mount Athos.[2] In particular, their paintings and frescoes in Moscopole, especially in the church St. Athanasius (Albanian: Kisha e Shën Thanasit)[6][7] and the monastery of Saints Cosmas and Damian in Vithkuq are of unique value. They were active in the period 1736-1783 and usually signed their works in Greek "By the hands of Konstantinos and Athanasios from Korytsa (Korçë)" (Greek: Δια χειρός Κωνσταντίνου και Αθανασίου από Κορυτσά).[8] Konstantinos signed many of his works (usually portable icons) as "Κωνσταντίνος αρβανίτης" (aka, Konstantinos the Arvanite).[9] Their surname, Zografi, means "painter" in Greek: Ζωγράφος, Zografos.


The work of the Zografi brothers has a marked tendency towards the baroque, with linear depictions of the religious figures, and at the same time adopting an ornamental style using a wide variety of brown and bright colors.[10][11] The main colors used in their works were white, bright blue, and dark red.[12]

Zografi brothers together with David Selenicasi continued the tradition of the Palaeologan art that was revived at Mount Athos during 18th century.[13]


  1. ^ Elsie, Robert (2001). A dictionary of Albanian religion, mythology and folk culture. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. p. 119. ISBN 1-85065-570-7.
  2. ^ a b Kirchhainer p. 153
  3. ^ Popa, Th., Piktorët Grabovarë Çetiri nga familja Katro, Bul. shk. shoq. 3. 1960.
  4. ^ Popa, Th., Piktorët mesjetarë shqiptarë, Tiranë 1961
  5. ^ Popa, Th., Piktorët korçarë Kostandin e Athanas Zografi dhe freskat e tyne me skenat e Apokalipsit, Bul. shk. shoq. nr. 1, 1959.
  6. ^ Wiener Archiv für Geschichte des Slawentums und Osteuropas. Universität Wien. Institut für Osteuropäische Geschichte und Südostforschung. 1989. (German)
  7. ^ E. Pavlidou, N. Civici, E. Caushi, L. Anastasiou, T. Zorba, E. Hatzikraniotis, K. M. Paraskevopoulos. Study of Painting Materials and Techniques in the 18th Century St.Athanasius Church in Moschopolis, Albania. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
  8. ^ Kirchhainer p. 152
  9. ^ Drakopoulou, Eugenia; Vocotopoulos, Panayotis (2006). Tourta, Anastasia (ed.). Icons from the Orthodox Communities of Albania (PDF). Thessaloniki: Museum of Byzantine Culture. p. 148. ISBN 960-89061-1-3. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  10. ^ Kirchhainer p. 188
  11. ^ "History and Spiritual Tradition". Orthodox Autocephalus Church of Albania. Retrieved 2010-07-04.
  12. ^ Kirchhainer p. 189
  13. ^ Rousseva, Ralitsa (2003). "Iconographic Characteristics of the Churches in Moschopolis and Vithkuqi (Albania)" (PDF). Makedonika. 35: 178. Retrieved 2010-07-04.


External links[edit]

  • Karin Kirchhainer: Die Malereien in den Gewölbezonen der Kuppelbasiliken von Voskopoje (Moschopolis). Acta Studia Albanica 1, 2007, S. 60–96
  • Paintings on Deutsche Fotothek.