It is rather unusual to find original Athos icons, that are for sale on the internet. But almost a month ago I saw two offered on Catawiki, painted by monk Antonios. Most icons are made by anonymous painters, also on Athos, but these two were signed with the painters name.
And when I took a closer look, I found out that I already had an icon of monk Antonios, that I had bought from Rolf Bos in 2012. Mr. Bos is a Dutch journalist, who visited Athos in the early 70-ties and he made the discovery of the Panteleimonos photo studio, with its hundreds of glass plate negatives. I published about this in posts 861 and 862. And I published about the first icon of monk Antonios, from Agios Georgios and the Dragon, in post 1285.
Back to the newly bought icons: when I started bidding on Catawiki the prize went up very quickly and at last I had to give up. The prize became too expensive for me. Afterwards I felt sorry, because it is so seldom that you buy Athos icons. And what happened to my surprise? A few weeks later the same icons were offered again on Catawiki! And this time I was lucky, because there were almost no other bidders and I could buy the icons relatively cheap. (NB. The first bidder did not pay, that’s why they were for sale again).
The icons are from a artistic point of view not impressive. Monk Antonios who lived in skiti Agia Anna according to Rolf Bos, who ordered his icon directly from Antonios in 1976, is definitely a B-artist. But still I find them interesting, because they so typical Orthodox icons with its colors, images and its perspective (on the Markos icon).
The seller of the icons told me that they were bought by his mother; she has two sons, named Marc (the seller) and Ralph, and that’s why she wanted to buy icons from the apostle Markos and the angel Raphael. She did not order the icons herself, but her neighbor did, mr. G.J. Korteling, from Bennebroek – Holland, who visited Athos in the 70-ties. I found out on the internet that mr. Korteling was a KLM pilot and that he was a councilor of the municipality of Bennebroek. I did not find any records of him visiting Athos.
On the back of one of the icons I saw this date, which corresponds to the information I got from the seller.
Wim Voogd, 15-7