» Biography Manolis Betinakis
Biography Manolis Betinakis


1946 / He is born in Heraklion, Crete.

1962 / He started apprenticeship as icon painter in the workshop of painter Papa-Giorgis Manousakis.


1965 / He worked as an assistant to painter George Philippakis for the church of. St. Dimitrios in Aegina.


1969 / He opened his own iconography workshop at Heraklion and worked as a freelance painter, taking projects from individuals and the church authorities.


1975 / He is appointed to paint the first set of frescoes for the Chapel of St. John the Hermit of the Bishop of Ierapytna and Sitia (with assistants Michael Vassilakis and Nicholas Kritikos).


1975-1990 / mural sets from this period can be seen in the monastery of the Virgin Mary at Faneromeni in Pahia Ammos, at the retreat of St. Theodori and St.. Dimitrios of Heraklion, at the retreat of Axion Esti in Ierapetra (with the cooperation of Michael Stavroulakis) at the church of St. Georgios and the Church of St. Nektarios in Heraklion, Poros, at the Holy Trinity church in Roussa Ekklisia, at the Holy Trinity church in Kavousi and churches at Ano and Kato Horio in Ierapetra. At the same time, he undertakes the paintings of portable icons of iconostasis of the church of St. Georgios of Sitia, at the retreat of Axion Esti in Ierapetra, at the church of St. Nicholas in the naval base of Sitia and at the Cathedral of St. Fotini in Ierapetra. At the same time and since 1983, he started testing the technique of fresco and in1987 he began working on the altar of the Monastery of Toplou, where his work was completed in 1994.


1990-2000 / During this period. he continued making portable iconostasis icons for the Church of the Annunciation in Sitia, the church of Transfiguration at Arkalohori, in churches in Rhodes and various churches abroad. During this decade, he begins working on the art of mosaic. Mosaic works of this decade (in collaboration with Maria Kumanova) are located at the church of St. Nicholas in the naval base of Sitia, at the Monastery of Our Lady in Pantanassa, the Monastery of Toplou, the Monastery of Savvathiana in Heraklion and in private collections.


2000-2015 / He completed mural compositions with more recent ones at the church of Panagia Eleousa in Ierapetra, at the church of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) in Vrouchas (with partner Claude Nulance) at the church of. St. Catherine in Sitia (with partner Nick Viskadourakis), while continuing to work with mosaics and icon works for the iconostasis of the church of St. Anna in Sitia, the church of St. Peter and Paul in Arvi, at the church of Virgin Mary in the village of Houmeri and at the church of Prophet Elijah in the village of Papagiannades Sitia.


As early as 2012, he received a proposal for a retrospective exhibition at the museum-church of St. Isaac in St. Petersburg in Russia, which he considered (perhaps prophetically) as a conclusion and culmination of his career. In the last three years he was completely dedicated to creating works especially for the exhibition. Large works were made, with personal details and bold colours and designs, intervening in their otherwise rigid lines.


The exhibition took place on October 3, 2015 at the State Museum-Monument Cathedral of St. Isaac, St. Petersburg. He was unable to attend because of the bad state of health; however, he spoke to attendees online.


He died on October 6, three days after the opening of the exhibition which lasted until November 16, 2015 and received great reviews. The top distinction, however, came after his death, with the selection of one of his works for the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg.