Title and Date of Work: Icon of the depiction of Heavenly Liturgy, Late 17th Century
Name of Artist: Ioannis
Exact Location: The Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens, Greece
Medium: Oil on Panel
The Byzantine and Christian Museum in Athens, Greece is a beautiful building and the history of its construction is just as beautiful. The main building, Villa Ilissia, was the former residence of the Duchess of Plaisance, Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun. She ordered that this building be constructed not long after the decision to make Athens the capital of Greece to be used as her winter home.
The placement of this building is significant to the Duchess’s interest in politics. The complex is only blocks away from the royal palace, which is now the parliament building, and at the time it was located near the bank of the River Ilissos, which is now covered. Considering this placement, the Duchess was able to use her estate as a means of influencing the politics of the time. After the Duchess’s death in 1854 the building was given to the Greek state and used for a variety of things until 1926 when it was dedicated to be used as the home to the Byzantine and Christian Museum.