ICACH collaborated with the Cyprus Department of Antiquities in a focused project aiming at applying RTI on byzantine and medieval wall paintings and icons. This context of material constitutes a major world-famous part of Cypriot and Eastern Mediterranean cultural heritage; hitherto has not been studied with the use of RTI technology. The wall paintings of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the monastery of St. John Lampadistis monastery, presented an optimal case study. The three-part monastic church complex features several wall painting cycles that demonstrate the high level as well as the broad range of artistic languages in Byzantine and Medieval Cyprus. The domed church of St. Herakleidios (date) occupies the southern part of the complex with the barrel vaulted chapel of St. John Lambadistis (12th c. with extensive rebuilding in the 18th c.) housing the relics and burial of the partos Saint located in the middle. The northern part of the katholikon complex is occupied by the so-called Latin Chapel decorated with spectacular wall paintings from the 15th century. (image).
The project’s goal was two-fold: first, to apply RTI imaging technology on a range of wall paintings and icons, and second, to use successful results in the historical study of the complicated medieval monument. The on-going conservation of the interior of the St. Herakleidios church by the Courtauld Institute in London provided a unique opportunity for field collaboration. Conservators offered valuable advise on specific wall painting panels, traces of earlier paintings and an array of other historical details related to the art and the architecture of the building.
Images presented in this page are courtesy of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities.