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Title: Western-European influences on the post Byzantine icon painting technique of Crete and the islands of Ionion
Author: Kouloumpi, Eleni
ISNI:       0000 0001 3602 132X
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2007
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The post-Byzantine Art was not only one of the most important artistic movements of Greece, but it was also a period in which serious and decisive changes took place. The most important change was the change of the materials and techniques; from egg yolk to drying oil and from panel paintings on wood to easel paintings on canvas. A series of a hundred and twenty one panel paintings, representative samples of this period (late 15th century up to the early 19th century) and from the work of the most important artists, who represent this period but who also contributed to the evolution of the later pictorial art were studied in the current research. Trying to find evidence of time and location for changes in practice between Constantinople, Greece and Venice, two hundred and one samples were collected from Crete, Athens Thessaloniki, Cephalonia, Zakynthos and Patmos. The aim was to provide timellocation data slices concerning the creation of the artwork~nd to identify the materials present in order to be able to detect any possible changes to the technique. The research proved to be quite a complicated task, not only due to the nature of the materials studied, but also due to the limited samples and sample quantity available. A multi-method approach was employed in order to characterise the artists' materials. The analytical means with which the investigation was carried out were: Energy Dispersive X-ray Analysis, .Fourier Transform Infrared Microscopy and Gas Chromatography. Additionally,· other.two techniques were used to offer complementary information wherever necessary: Raman microscopy and staining of cross-sections. Pure binding media, as well as emulsions were detected, while the nature of the selected pigments was identified. The artistic changes that took place in the postByzantine of painting did record on the techniques available. It is obvious that while in the Byzantine art the main binder is egg yolk, immediately after the formation of the post-Byzantine School egg/oil emulsion and drying oil are introduced. In the 16th century there seems to be a rise in the use of drying oils, either in the form of an additive layer over a proteinaceous one or in the form of a single layer binder. The 17th century establishes the use of emulsions, until the 18th century where the. use of drying oils prevails. This unexpected sequence of changes was repeated through all the schools studied, it seems reproducible through each series of samples and is not being influenced by other considerations. The results of this research led to one main conclusion: Western Europe did affect the icon painters. It gave them the examples and the materials for them to free themselves and move on to more contemporary styles. Only a fraction of the data obtained has 'been published. The results of this study may have thrown some light onto this dark transitional period of the Hellenic art, but as research never ends, new questions have been born, for scientists to answer.
Supervisor: Lawson, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available