In-situ Analysis, M Damaskinos

PhoHS Performs in -situ analysis of Icons from Michael Damaskinos at the Museum of ST. Catherine

November 17-19, 2021

The Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser of FORTH (IESL-FORTH) is attempting to shed light on unknown aspects of the exquisite art of Michael Damaskenos by performing an in-situ analytical campaign at the Museum of St. Catherine in Heraklion, Crete.

The in-situ analytical campaign that took place on November 17-19, 2021 was part of the Project «Digital Aposphragisma of Hagionymous Islands», OPERATIONAL PROGRAM INTERREG V-A, GREECE-CYPRUS 2014-2020 in collaboration with the Ephorate of Antiquities of Heraklion and the Centre of Cultural Informatics of ICS-FORTH. (

The Photonics for Heritage Science group of IESL-FORTH ( aimed at studying two unique portable icons bearing the signature of the famous Cretan creator Michael Damaskenos, exhibited in the Museum. The two objects “The last supper” and “Noli me tangere” (c. 1585-1591, tempera on wood) were investigated as regards their pigments, stratigraphy and other artistic details. In parallel, another icon “Virgin and Christ child” dated in late 14th century created by an anonymous artist was studied so to compare materials and techniques of the Cretan school of icon-painting.

All analyses were performed using portable non-invasive imaging and spectroscopic analytical instrumentation developed by the PhoHS group of IESL-FORTH while data was recorded using the digital systems developed by the Centre of Cultural Informatics of ICS-FORTH.

We are grateful to the president, Mr. Nikolaos Gigourtakis, and the Management Board, as well as the personnel of the Museum for their great hospitality and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Heraklion for a productive collaboration.