Saint Anastasia Pharmakolitria
The panel of Saint Anastasia Pharmakolitria and Donor Anastasia Saramalina lies on the south apse of the narthex, on the right side of Saint George on the Ηorseback and is dated to the late thirteenth century.
Saint Anastasia was painted in her traditional way of depiction during the Lusignan period in Cyprus, i.e. holding a white martyr’s cross and a bottle of medicine, the attribution of healing. The figure is accompanied by an inscription which reads 'Anastasia Pharmakolitria'. Pharmakolitria means dissolver of poison. Anastasia actually used to cure those who suffered for their faith in Christ by cleaning their wounds and placing remedy on them.
Attention must not be given only to her healing powers, but also to her name. Anastasia is a derivative of Anastasis which means resurrection and, therefore, she was linked iconographically and conceptually to the resurrection of Christ. Even though executed in an earlier decorating program, the panel of Saint. Anastasia is embodied perfectly to the meaning context of the iconographic program 1332 A.D. in Asinοu, i.e. the resurrection, healing and salvation during the Second Coming and Judgement and corresponds in great accordance with the fourteenth century images of Cosmas and Damian on the north wall.
Anastasia Saramalina, the benefactress of the wall painting, is depicted in a smaller scale than the saint’s figure, following the Byzantine custom. She opens her hands towards her patron saint and her apparel reminisces Byzantine clothing of the Eastern Mediterranean of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries but accompanied with characteristic Western-type headgear.
The portrait of Saint Anastasia belongs to iconographic style developed peculiar to Lusignan Cyprus. The stylistic idiom, the so-called Maniera Cypria, was an amalgamation of Byzantine and Latin stylistic characteristics which were created in Cyprus after its conquest by the Crusaders and especially in the late thirteenth century. This artistic production style wavers between the two worlds, the East and the West, represented on the island during the period but succeeds in marking and linking Cyprus with two apparently distinct traditions into a successful one.