Ydroussa
For 7km west of Aghios Konstantinos, the road follows the shore, until it meets the low expanse of the central valley of the island at Aghios Nikolaos. At this point a branch-road south, leads through the village of Kondakei­ka, to Ydroussa (4.7km south). Northeast from the main church at the centre of the village, which is decorated inside with 19th century paintings, is a signed track to Petalouda. Turning left at a T-junction after 20 minutes by foot, you continue until the track crosses a stream bed; shortly after this, down a path to the left is the church of the Koi­misis tis Theotokou (Dormition of the Virgin), standing alone in a shaded space, beside a spring—whose presence suggests there could possibly have been a pagan predecessor on this spot.
   This is a simple, barrel-vaulted, rural church, of the 12th or 13th century, decorated inside with contemporaneous *wall paintings of exceptional quality, and (except on the ceiling) in good state of conservation, given their age. What impresses most is the quality of the faces, especially in the row of standing saints, and in scenes, such as Christ raising Lazarus: they have open faces, with strangely unexpressive eyes, yet with a delicate stylisation of features and hair, and an arrestidignity. The hand of one painter throughout is clear, and his style and the colours he uses, are typical of the very early 13th century. There is a waxy, impasto to his paint preparation, similar to that found in Roman wall-painting, and deriving from an admixture of soap and wax so as to create a mixed encaustic technique. This would suggest that the painter may have come from a major artistic centre, if not from Constantinople itself: during the 13th century, the Byzantine rulers still maintained control of Samos from Nicaea. Noteworthy is the scene of St. Peter (4th century Bishop) of Alexandria, remonstrating with the tiny figure of Christ in a canopied aedicule; the iconography is identical to that in the apse of the church of the Archangel Michael on the acropolis of Tilos. It is an infrequently encountered piece of visual propaganda against the heresy of Arius (see MGi, Vol 16, p 73).

Samos Island is part of the Northern Aegean Island Group, Greece.

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