The monastery of Vatopedi was founded in the 10th century. Today it gives the impression of an extensive settlement with a great courtyard at its centre surrounded by vast buildings. The large katholikon, dedicated to Theotokos (the Mother of God) and faced with rose-coloured marble, has the distinction of being the only church on Mount Athos to have mosaics surviving from the 11th century.
Unfortunately the wall-paintings in this gem of a Byzantine building were painted over in 1819. A few remained intact in the narthex to reveal the high quality of a dynamic and emotionally expressive mode of painting which in all probability dates to 1312. The style suggests that these wall-paintings were executed by two different artists, one of whom may be identified as Manuel Panselinos himself.