Sneak Peek

07 Ιούν 2024

Sneak Peek: View of the Monastery of St George the Distant (Makris)

PNT-00032 >View of the Monastery of St George the Distant (Makris), Anonymous, embroidery, ca. 1850

In 1844, the sisters of the Order of St. Joseph of the Apparition (Sœurs de Saint-Joseph de l'Apparition) established a hospice in Larnaca. They looked after patients and taught young local girls how to embroider and paint. This embroidery illustrates a part of Larnaca salt lake near the church of Agios Georgios Makris, seen on the mount by the water. The small coffee shop by the lake gives shelter to passersby and fishermen. In most coffee shops in Cyprus, a vine trellis covers its roof, from which three palm trees protrude.

The embroidery style corresponding to the French embroideries of that period and we deduce that this fine embroidery piece was the work of one of the French sisters of the Order.

The attire of the women serving coffee appears somewhat unorthodox in its resemblance to French costumes. This choice could have been an artistic license or, perhaps, an attempt to see Cyprus as more French than anything. It was only a few years later that the French community of Cyprus petitioned Napoleon III to take Cyprus and save it from the hands of the Ottomans. In 1871, the French Consul Gustave Laffon suggested to his principles to transport refugees from Alsace and Lorraine to Cyprus, enhancing the French population on the island.

The creation of this embroidery is best understood within this context, where ideological ventures colonise space through art.

The 'Sneak Peek' series is supported by OPAP (Cyprus).

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