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The Peloponnese

he most important monuments of the 14th century are concentrated in the capital of the despotate of the Morea, that is in Mistra in the Peloponnese. The importance of the city's role in the artistic movement of the region was great. Here was created a new centre that maintained contacts with Constantinople, the city in which new artistic tendencies took shape. Mistra thus became the intermediary through which the innovatory trends of the Capital were passed on to the southern parts of Greece. Innovative monuments are also encountered beyond the city itself, in nearby areas. One of these is the church of St Nicholas in Platsa, in the Mani. In the monuments of the Byzantine-held southern Peloponnese we find that the new tendencies were adopted and applied in a provincial way. In the church of Agoriane, for instance, it is obvious that the local artist, although familiar with the new monumental volume style, is not able to successfully imitate the achievements of the artists of the metropolitan centres. Among the representative monuments of Mistra during this period are the church of the Virgin Hodegetria or Aphendiko, dating from the first decades of the century and that of the Virgin Peribleptos, dating from its last decades. Both works, which are connected to members of the higher social classes in the city, are noted for the superlative quality of their frescoes.

See also: Mistra-Virgin Hodegetria, Mistra-Peribleptos