The iconographic programme of murals at the altar space of Bulgaria’s eleventh- and twelfth-century churches Cover Image
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Иконографска програма на стенописите в апсидата на църквите в България от XI-XII в
The iconographic programme of murals at the altar space of Bulgaria’s eleventh- and twelfth-century churches

Author(s): Luben Domozetski
Subject(s): History, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Middle Ages, Theology and Religion, History of Religion
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The article deals with the extant murals of the eleventh and the twelfth centuries within the lands of what is now Bulgaria. In those two centauries, Bulgaria was under the Byzantines. The monuments under consideration are: the Church of St Demetrios, the village of Patalenitsa; the Church of St Michael the Archangel/of the Holy Archangels, the town of Rila; the Church of St George, Kolusha, Kyustendil; Boyana Church and the ossuary of the Monastery of Bachkovo. Representations in the apse conch are extant only in Bachkovo ossuary: there are fragments of a representation of the Most Holy Mother of God and Child with two archangels and a Deesis in the crypt. The article deals mainly with the iconography of images of hierarchs in the lower registers of the apse. In two instances (Patalenitsa and Rila), frontal images of hierarchs are extant, which suggests earlier dating to the murals. Presentation of portraits in imitations of frames was another version. The church of the ossuary at the Monastery of Bachkovo features officiating hierarchs, with a probable representation of the Hetoimasia in the centre. Murals of the twelfth century, demonstrating the earliest extant representation of Christ the Holy Lamb in the middle of the apse, occur at the apse of Boyana church. An interesting iconographic version of the Holy Vernicle is depicted at the Church of St Michael the Archangel/of the Holy Archangels in the town of Rila. The Holy Vernicle has probably featured a representation of Christ the High Priest and along with framed portraits of the disciples flanking the Holy Vernicle, a composition of the Communion of the Apostles has symbolically been represented.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 30-38
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Bulgarian