Zachary Zograph’s Influence in the Middle Rhodope Mountains  Cover Image
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Влиянието на Захарий Зограф в средните Родопи през втората половина на ХІХ век
Zachary Zograph’s Influence in the Middle Rhodope Mountains

Author(s): Nikolay Klissarov
Subject(s): Fine Arts / Performing Arts
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: Zachary Zograph revived the monu- mental painting in the middle of the 19th c. He borrowed ideas from the secular ornamental-decorative paint- ing used in the more representative buildings and in the houses that were decorated by French artists-decorators in Istanbul and Edirne. He encoun- tered the Edirne style, undertaken in Plovdiv. Changed by the icon painters from Samokov it was widely put into practice. From the ornamental forms Zachary Zograph created a system for decoration of murals and church facades. Following in his footsteps the idea was later undertaken by the icon painter Alexi Attanasov from Assenovgrad who well new Zach- ary’s style. Alexi drew in the churches a great number of ornaments round the figures and compositions. He surrounded them with wide ornamented frames, decorated with vases, baskets with flowers, festoons, bouquets, with diversified compositions of acanthuses. The gay coloring of bright colors stood out on the white background. The interior impressed with its colorfulness as a spring garden. The decorations began to overtake over the evangelistic subjects. Surrounded by wide frames they looked like hanged baroque paintings without any chronological ties between them. Five churches in the Middle Rhodope Mountains were decorated according to this system and this could be seen only in this region of Bulgaria. In the latest one, dated 1901 in the village of Solishta, the few religious images were almost lost in this color diversity. In the affluent houses in Smolyan and Chepelare ‘alafrangas’ with bouquets or landscapes are drawn in the decorative niches, decorated were also the entrance pediments. In a mosque in Zlatograd (nonexistent now) a large cupola with plant ornaments, stylized according to the Islam tulips were drawn – the work of icon painter from Assenovgrad and dated 1845. The Rhodope decorative system reflected the last stage of development of monumental painting on the Bulgarian lands till the beginning of the 20th c.

  • Issue Year: 2011
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 7-13
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Bulgarian