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Byzantine and post-Byzantine art

Byzantine art was an art enlisted to serve Christian ideals: the element of intense religiosity was one of the main focuses of artistic activity in Greek territory even after the Byzantine Empire collapsed in the 15th century.

The exhibition featuring the Historical Museum Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection aims to present this centuries-long cultural continuity on Crete too, in all its distinctiveness. For example, by following the development of painting (via wall painting fragments and portable icons), visitors will perceive the dynamic co-existence of the local Orthodox population with the Venetian and Ottoman overlords. In addition, they will be able to see that in many cases, the dialogue between tradition and external influences gave rise to interesting artistic developments, such as the Cretan School of Painting, which flourished during the closing centuries of Venetian rule (16th-17th century).

In parallel, the exhibition highlights various groups of miniature works, either as manifestations of piety and Christian worship, such as liturgical vessels, vestments and ecclesiastical manuscripts, or as material evidence of private life, such as jewellery, thus enriching the information garnered on cultural and intellectual life in previous centuries.