Graffiti of Riders at the Medieval Church of St George in Kolusha, Kyustendil Cover Image
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Рисунки графити на конници от средновековната църква „Св. Георги” в Колуша, Кюстендил
Graffiti of Riders at the Medieval Church of St George in Kolusha, Kyustendil

Author(s): Yavor Mitov
Subject(s): Cultural history
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The graffiti at the medieval Church of St George, Kolusha quarter, Kyustendil are overviewed. All the drawings at the church are found in the second paint layer, dating from the seventeenth century. This allows for dating them supposedly between the twelfth and fifteenth century. Looking into the arms worn by the people and the ship models, we could possibly refer them with the highest level of precision to the twelfth or thirteenth century. The drawings are divided into nine groups: riders, individual representations of humans, crosses, schematic representations, representations of the sun, symbols, ships and vegetal motifs. These have been considered also according to their positions in the murals of the church. Such a look reveals that the drawings tend to decrease against the sun. Because of the large number of drawings – a total of 216 representations – the paper deals with the first group of riders, the most frequently occurring. A similarity between the manners of representation of some of the riders was established, which allowed for dividing them in certain subgroups or scenes. The riders are more often than not drawn as waging war or hunting or triumphing. Not only the arms worn by the riders – spears, swords and clubs – but also the trappings of the represented horses as well as the comfortable saddles with large backrests pique our interest. Some of the riders are within a pentagram, which shows that these representations have been deemed by the drawing men to be magic symbols. Their representations in various scenes allow for understanding the significance with which the riders were endued in the minds of those who had sketched them. They are most probably epitomizing the invincible horse-riding hero much favoured by the vast populace. The graffiti of riders at the medieval church in Kolusha, Kyustendil are an unexplored for the time being source of the warfare, life and beliefs of the people, who lived in the region in the twelfth and thirteenth century.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 11-14
  • Page Count: 4
  • Language: Bulgarian