Post-Byzantine Monumental Pictorial Art: Painting Materials and Techniques in the Church of the Transfiguration of our Savior in Klimatia (Epirus, NW Greece)

  • Georgios P. MastrotheodorosEmail author
  • Eleni Filippaki
  • Yannis Bassiakos
  • Konstantinos G. Beltsios


This work focuses on a small post-Byzantine church that is devoted to the Transfiguration of Our Savior and located at the outskirts of the Klimatia village (a few kilometers NW from the town of Ioannina, Epirus territory, Greece). Its internal walls are decorated with splendid wall paintings which have been executed in 1568 by the famous painter Frangos Kontaris. In the frame of major conservation works that took place recently in the church, several wall painting and plaster samples were collected and subjected to compositional and morphological analysis. Samples were exhaustively examined by means of various analytical techniques such as optical polarizing microscopy, SEM-EDX, and XRD, in order to identify both the materials (focusing on inorganics) and techniques employed in the manufacturing of the substrates (plasters) and the superimposed paint layers. In a parallel way, the layers of accumulations/efflorescence which cover part of the paintings were also studied. In this paper the analytical results are presented and evaluated in the light of the data obtained by recent archaeometric studies of several other post-Byzantine Greek monumental paintings. Moreover, the authors attempt a correlation between the herein examined Frangos Kontaris paintings and the apparently related, unsigned ones embellishing the Filanthropinon and Eleousa monasteries’ churches; the latter were recently studied by applying a similar methodological approach.


Post-Byzantine Wall painting Pigments Gilding Mortar Efflorescence 



The authors wish to express their sincere thanks toward Dr. V. Papadopoulou, director of the Arta Ephorate of Antiquities, for her significant help during this study. This research is implemented through IKY scholarship program and cofinanced by the European Union (European Social Fund (ESF)) and Greek national funds through the action entitled “Reinforcement of Postdoctoral Researchers,” in the framework of the Operational Program “Human Resources Development Program, Education and Lifelong Learning” of the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) 2014–2020.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georgios P. Mastrotheodoros
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eleni Filippaki
    • 1
  • Yannis Bassiakos
    • 1
  • Konstantinos G. Beltsios
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, NCSR “Demokritos”Agia ParaskeviGreece
  2. 2.Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece

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