Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


The icon of Panaghia tes Phileremou

The icon of Panaghia tes Phileremou

For the first time an Italian scholar, Giovannella Bertè Ferraris di Celle, has been allowed to closely observe and photograph the original icon of the Madonna of Fileremo recently found in Montenegro. This scholar has just published a volume entitled “The icon of Panaghia tes Phileremou” on this famous image, about whose real aspect very little has been known until today.

The writer, who is an expert on the history of the icon due to having carried out research in areas linked to the painting during the 1980’s (La Madonna del Fileremo, Giovannella Ferraris di Celle, Verona 1988), went to Montenegro in 1997 on the invitation of the Management of the National Museum, in order to confim that the painting kept there was the famous icon of the Madonna del Fileremo, once kept in Rhodes, then in Malta, in Russia and in Yugoslavia, where it disappeared during World War Two. The authoress was inspired by this first meeting with the precious painting to complete the study from an iconographical point of view as well. To do this, she obtained permission to see the original icon again and photograph it without the golden cover which Tsar Paul I of Russia had given it, and which still protects it today.

The results of the study were the subject matter of the dissertation for her doctorate at the Faculty of Oriental Ecclesiastical Science at the Pontefice Oriental Institute in Rome. The current publication includes the part of the study containing the material and formal description and the aesthetic evaluation of the painting preceded by the history of the icon’s movements illustrated by photographic documentation on the present conditions of the painting.

“La Panaghia tes Phileremou” Excerpt from Doctorate Dissertation by Giovannella Bertè Ferraris di Celle, Roma 2001, Ed.Renato Ferraris (24×17 cm.;72pp.;Tavv.13 b/n; I.S.B.N.88-900725-9-8; Euro 12,40).

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