|See the church of St. John the Theologician - Kaneo from various aspects:|
The church of St. John the Theologician - Kaneo was built and fresco painted in the XIII century. There are no written records about it. The location of the church is among the most beautiful on the shore of Lake Ohrid. It stands on a high rock above the former fishermen's settlement of Kaneo and one of the most beautiful beaches in the old part of the town. It is crucifix in shape, and renown for its rather harmonious forms and exceptionally successfully decorated facade and dome. As both building and decorative material baked bricks and limestone were used.
The architecture of St. John the Theologician - Kaneo is very important for the survey of the medieval monuments in Ohrid. It represents a successful combination of the Byzantine and Armenian elements. The unknown constructor of this monument designed the dome under the influence of the Armenian architecture. It is also obvious from the ribbon-like triangular wreaths on the exterior wall of the octagonal dome.
The original shape of the church of St. John - Kaneo, one of the symbols of the ancient Ohrid, was restored during the conservation works in 1963 and 1964. The belfry and the parvis, which were added to the church during the XIX century, were torn down, and the frescoes in the dome were discovered and conserved, together with the ones from the altar space.
For quite a long period, form the XVII to the XIX century, the church was partially ruined and abandoned. Then the majority of the frescoes were destroyed and forever lost.
In the dome Christ the Panthocrator is portrayed, with eight angles flying around Him. Portraits of the Prophets are covering the wall sections between the dome's windows.
In the upper zone of the altar space, under the semi-calotte, is the scene of "The Communion", with the Apostles depicted in royal robe, an image quite exceptional in the overall Byzantine painting.
From the iconografic point of view, particularly significant is the joint portrait of St. Clement of Ohrid, the Archbishop of Ohrid Constantine Cavassila, and the first early Christian missionary in the region from the late III century - Erasmus of Lychnidos. This is the only portrait of Erasmus in the medieval Ohrid painting.
The authors of the frescoes of St. John Kaneo were a group of painters who continued the artistic tradition of the Komneni époque. Their archaic features and monasical character places the frescoes outside the new aspirations in the medieval arts that emerged during the Palaeologue Renaissance in Ohrid itself, with the frescoes in the church of St. Clement.