THEOPHANES the Cretan
(active 1527-1559)

Biography

Greek monk and painter. He worked mainly on Mt Athos, particularly at the monasteries of Lavra (c. 1535-40) and Stavronikita (1545-06), and also at Karyes, the administrative centre of Athos. His earliest known works are the wall paintings at the monastery of St Nicholas Anapafsas at Meteora (1527). Among his most outstanding works are the Massacre of the Innocents (Lavra), the Transfiguration (Lavra), the Last Supper (Stavronikita) and the Great Deësis (Karyes), which set an example for later painters of the Eastern Church. The most prominent representative of the Cretan school of wall painting in the 16th century, he had little Italian influence and preserved the traditions of the 15th-century Palaiologan and Cretan schools, thus helping to maintain a high standard of painting in Greek lands under Turkish rule.



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