Public Policy in the Field of Plastic Arts in the Early 1950s and its Impact on Monumental and Decorative Church Painting Cover Image
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Държавната политика в сферата на пластичните изкуства през първата половина на 50-те години на ХХ век и отражението ѝ върху църковната монументално- декоративна живопис
Public Policy in the Field of Plastic Arts in the Early 1950s and its Impact on Monumental and Decorative Church Painting

Author(s): Milena Blazhieva
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, History, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Cultural history, History of Church(es), Visual Arts, Special Historiographies:, Theology and Religion, History of Communism, Post-Communist Transformation
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The text deals with key compositions in mural ensembles at the Cathedrals of The Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God (Veliko Tyrnovo) and of The Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God (Plovdiv) in the light of the developments related to regaining the Patriarchal dignity of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in the mid-twentieth century. The decade following the World War Two was a time, when Bulgaria’s political system was subject to the Soviet totalitarian model. With regard to the Church, it meant pursuing a restrictive policy. On the other hand, however, the authorities spared no efforts to restore the Bulgarian Patriarchate, an issue of both domestic and foreign policy dimensions to it. The murals of both churches were made in 1950–1952 by teams led by this country’s most eminent Bulgarian historical painters, Nikola Kozhuharov and Dimiter Gudjenov. The representational programme was consistent with the political conjuncture. It was implemented in the vein of European academicism, the conservatism of which was close to the aesthetical concept of the method of Socialist Realism. Such plots and scenes were accentuated that could be interpreted not from the vantage point of faith alone, but also in the light of the dominant ideology. These pictorial ensembles would more often than not compromise the principles defining the nature of the Orthodox monumental and decorative church painting.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 9
  • Page Range: 366-376
  • Page Count: 11
  • Language: Bulgarian