Intellectual and artistic offer of the Monasteries
Starting from the Byzantine period, the MONASTERIES played an important role in the life of the Nation. They were the places where bibliographical (artistic) workshops were organized, in which the manuscripts of the works of the Fathers of our Church were copied, but also the work of Homer and of other ancient writers.
Thus, the great Greek tragic poets, historiographers and even comedy writers as Aristophanes were rescued and their work was spread in the West.
The later Archbishop of Thessalonica Eustathios Katafloros (12th century.),
as a Professor of the Patriarcade faculty of Istanbul, became a brilliant commentator of Homer, Pindar, the Geographers, etc. In many orthodox monasteries, in the narthexes of their Catholics (temples), the ancient Greek philosophers have been “related” (painted) on the walls, because they are considered as people who have captured the truth of faith. In the monastery of Filanthropinon, which is located in the lake of Ioannina, we can see one of the most beautiful representations of them.
In the monasteries, various faculties of the Byzantine art (hagiography) were developed on murals, portable icons and iconostasis. Some of the most important of these schools are the Macedonian, the Cretan, as well as the one that belongs to the North-western Greece. However, many post Byzantine craftsmen left behind very appreciable work. The majority of them were anonymous by humbleness, but also famous personalities who remained famous with magnificent performances such as Fragos Katelanos, Georgios Klontzas, Micheal Damaskinos and others.
The Macedonian school is located in the Protato of Karyes and in the monasteries of Vatopediou, Hilandariou and others. In the first temple, we can admire the masterpieces of the leading representative of this faculty, Manuel Panselinos, while in the temple of Vatopediou, we can see the most advanced techniques of the faculty that almost touch superialism - the work of the father of the Cretan school, Theofanis Strelitzas-Bathas can be found in the monastery of Great Lavra and the monastery of Stavronikita in Athos and in the monastery of Saint Nikolaos Anapafsa in Meteora, along with the work of other craftsmen of the same school in the monastery of Metamorphosis (in Meteora), as well as in many other monasteries, as this faculty prevailed as the main figurative expression of Orthodoxy, especially of monasticism. In the monastery of Varlaam in Meteora worked the eminent Fraggos Katelanos; the chapel of the Three Hierarchs of the same monastery was painted by a painter who followed the Cretan faculty with the 24 houses of the Akathistos Anthem of the “Greetings”).
In the monastery of Saint Ioannis the Theologian of Patmos or in the Byzantine state of Mystra and in many other regions of Greece (Ipirous, Macedonia, Crete etc.) very important samples of Byzantine art are saved.
In the monastery of Dafniou and Saint Louka, as well as in the New Monastery of Chios, we can find great works of Byzantine mosaics.