The painter Angelos was one of the founders of post-Byzantine Cretan painting. His work is distinguished for his elaborate style and the representation of highly detailed figures, with a remarkable use of colours. He stands out for his exceptional competence and unique, original style that reveals an idiosyncratic nature; just like Doménikos Theotokópoulos (El Greco), he always signed his paintings with his first name. Most of the sources concerning his life come from later times and usually refer to lost works. In Cairo there is a signed icon of St. George by him that bears the date 1604, the only chronological indication existing – but it is most probable that the signature had been added by the painter Ioannis Kornaros in the 18th century. Indeed, the style of his modelling and the intense painterly feeling of his representations suggest an earlier date, in the second half of the 15th century, along with the Cretan pioneer painters of this period, like Andreas Ritzos. Consequently, some scholars, Mario. Cattapan first and Maria Vassilaki with new arguments, identify Angelos with the painter Angelos Akotantos from Candia (Heraklion). He had relations with the large Sinaitic dependency in Candia and from his will (1436) we know that he had contacts with Constantinople.
The Virgin is depicted full length and frontal, in the type of Nikopoios or Kyriotissa. Saint Catherine is standing next to her holding her hands in a martyr-like position. She is dressed like a princess, bearing a Frankish crown and a gold snood holds her reddish hair, in the Venetian fashion. These characteristics, along with the facial features and the clothing embellishments, compose an undoubtedly Cretan type of the saint. The icon bears the painter’s signature at the bottom right (ΧΕΙΡ ΑΓΓΕΛΟΥ, meaning “the hand of Angelos”) as well as characteristic features of his art: the soft graded modelling, the nobility of the figures and the long fine, highlights.
The subject is connected with Mount Sinai, as it depicts the patron saint of the Monastery of Saint Catherine along with the Virgin in the type of the Nikopoios. This type is found in icons in Sinai known as “tis Vatou” icons, from the chapel of the “Unburnt Bush”. Angelos appears to specialize on this subject because the priest Gregorios Maras bequests with his will (1700) an icon of Angelos with the same subject to a priest in Ancona.