Michael Damaskenos

Probably the most important painter of the Cretan School, he was born in Candia (Herakleion) around 1540, and learnt his painting at the School of Aghia Katerina of Sinai. At the age of 32 he was working in Venice and came into contact with contemporary artistic ways. From 1584 he was back in Candia and at the monastery of Vrondisi (not far from Zaros), where he laboured.

Crete, arts and literature. Michael Damaskenos

His works combine many elements of Byzantine iconography, with techniques of Western painting and Renaissance art.

Thus in his work Byzantine gravity mingles with Renaissance realism.

He produced numerous works, which are now scattered in the collections of St George in Venice, the Byzantine Museum at Athens, and the Byzantine collection at the church of Aghia Katerina of Sinai (near the cathedral of Aghios Minas in Herakleion). This last venue has six of his most important works which belonged to the Monastery of Vrondisi. Unfortunately because the church has been recently renovated, it is open to visitors only on the saint’s nameday (25th November).

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