Painting, in the form of murals and icons, was practised on Mount Athos without interruption from the 11th to the 19th century. There are 11th century mosaics at Vatopedi and outstanding murals, executed around 1300 probably by Manuel Panselinos, in the Protaton church. In the 16th century in particular Mount Athos attracted the most eminent names associated with Orthodox painting.
In 1535 the Cretan Theophanis decorated the katholikon of the Great Lavra and later, in 1546, together with his son Symeon the katholikon of Stavronikita Monastery. Tzortzis, another Cretan, painted in the monasteries of Dionysiou (1547) and Docheiariou (1568); Cretan Antonios (1544) painted in Xenophontos. Artistic output declined in the 17th century, but was revived in the 18th, when painters from Epirus and Macedonia were invited to work on Athos.