How It Works
“Virgin Galaktotrophousa, engraved copper plate, Gabriel of Skopelos, Mount Athos, 1871.
The icon represents an intriguing combination of Byzantine and Italian elements. This combination is the result of the plate’s patronage—for it was made for a late-nineteenth century monastery in the Byzantine tradition—and the lasting influence of Italian art throughout the Mediterranean world. The iconographic type is derived from a Byzantine image known as the “Virgin Galaktotrophousa,” or the nourishing Virgin, one that was also especially popular in Italy and the larger Mediterranean basin into the early modern period. The crowning of Mary further identifies her as the “Queen of Heaven,” an association for her commonly attested in medieval and Renaissance Italy. A final testimony to the image’s connections with Italian tradition is the elegant, naturalistic style selected for the portrayal of the figures. Here the artist was certainly inspired by early Renaissance depictions of the same scene, most likely in the form of later copies.
Question: How are prints made from copper plates?