In the 17th century the practice of inviting painters to Mount Athos declined as a result of the economic difficulties experienced by the monasteries after the confiscation of their estates in 1568. Consequently, there are no important ensembles of wall-paintings.
The mountain communities of western Macedonia acquired importance because wall-painting developed here, for two reasons: first, new churches were built in these communities by the Greek population, which had meantime recovered its strength, and second, because painters from villages in the Grammos mountain range, such as Linotopi and Grammosta, did not merely meet local demands but also worked in other areas.
Here they adapted their art to local ways, and their works have a strong primitive and folk character. These painters were organised in family teams and handed on their art from generation to generation.