Georgian mural painting blossomed during the Middle Ages, particularly between the 11th and mid-13th centuries. National schools of a unique character developed through discovery and celebration of Georgian hagiography as well as through cultural contacts with neighbouring countries.
From the 14th century onward the imported Byzantine Paleologian style predominated. Interesting examples of Persian influence during the 16th and 17th centuries can be seen in the secular portraits of patrons. In the 19th century, when Russia annexed Georgia and the Georgian Orthodox Church lost its autocephalous character, many frescoes were Whitewashed and irreparably damaged, leaving only a fraction of what had been.
The churches of Ateni Sioni, Udabno, Gelati, Vardzia, Timotes-Ubani, Kinstvisi and Nekresi contain the most notable surviving examples.