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by Archaeology Newsroom

Byzantine painting in Thessaly

Although examples of Byzantine monumental painting appear in Thessaly quite early, the wall-painted Byzantine monuments of this region have not been systematically studied. The church of Panagia at Vathyremma preserves samples of tenth century art, while close to Hagioi Anargyroi Monastery a cave-asceterio displays fragments of twelfth century painting. Wall-paintings, dating from the same period, have also been preserved elsewhere in Thessaly. Various other murals, which can be assigned to the so-called Macedonian School of painting, as well as to the “archaic” style,date back to the thirteenth and fourteenth century. Sixteenth century painting in Thessaly, a mainstay in the history of the religious art, is represented in a series of important monuments, such as the Monasteries of Meteora or that of Hagios Bessarion. These wall-paintings, along with those of the seventeenth and eighteenth century, compose a precise record of the expansion of post-Byzantine art in Thessaly. Some of the forementioned monasteries have been decorated by celebrated painters of their time, such as Theophanes the Cretan or Tzortzis the Constantinopolitan. These works of art prove in addition that the so called “Cretan School” of painting developed and evolved considerably in Thessaly.