In 1844, the Sisters of the Order of St. Joseph de l’ Apparition established a hospice in Larnaca. They looked after patients and also 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 the passers by and the fishermen. As in most coffee shops in Cyprus, its roof is covered by a vine trellis out of which three palm trees protrude. It is clearly the work of one of the French sisters as the style of embroidery is French and of that period. The dress of the women serving coffee appears somewhat unorthodox in its resemblance to French costumes. This can be seen as 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 Turks. In 1871, the French Consul Gustave Laffon suggested to his principles to transport refugees from Alsace and Lorraine to Cyprus enhancing thus the French population on the island. It is within this context that the creation of this embroidery should be understood. It is rather typical of ideological ventures to colonize space through art.
65 x 80 cm
Agios Georgios Makris
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