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CivilizationCivilization in Modern periodArt in Modern periodPaintingLate period of Ottoman rule (1700-1913)

Late period of Ottoman rule (1700-1913)

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Secular painting

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Saint Spyridon
Wall-painting with saint Spyridon, 19th cent., Oxya, church of Agios Athanasios.

Wall-painting with saints, standing or in medallions, 1802, Pentalofos, church of Agia Triada Monastery.

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Saint Spyridon
19th century


In the 18th century Mount Athos once more became a centre of religious painting. This was due to the large number of new decorative ensembles painted here, and also to the fact that theoretical guidelines were formulated with regard to the models to be followed. Painters were urged to imitate the wall-paintings of Panselinos, as, for example, in the "Painter's Manual" (1728-1733), a work written by a self-taught monk, Dionysios of Fourna (one of the Agrapha villages).

On Mount Athos and elsewhere (Thessaloniki, Kastoria, Moschopolis) a return to models of the early 14th century can be observed. The increased level of church-building led to the execution of mural decorations in the rest of Macedonia, too -- even in the areas of central and east Macedonia where there had been a gap in previous centuries.

A different trend can also be observed at this period: it became a general practice to invite painters from other areas, who brought their provincial art intact to Mount Athos, though probably making some iconographic adjustments.

In the 19th century, the increase in the number of the churches was not accompanied by a comparable increase in the number of wall-paintings: churches gradually ceased to be decorated with paintings, and other means of embellishment were preferred.

See Also
Civilization - Painting (1204-1430)
Wall-paintings (1204-1430)

Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.