Gospel’s Covers from Vratsa – Examples of Local Goldsmith Tradition from 17th Century  Cover Image
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Gospel’s Covers from Vratsa – Examples of Local Goldsmith Tradition from 17th Century

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

Summary/Abstract: Five Gospel’s precious covers are recognized as related to the work of Vratsa’s goldsmiths from 17th c . Three of them are made for churches in Vratsa, one for Rila Monastery and one for the church in Oryahovo . The article analyzes the icono- graphical, stylistic and techno- logical features of each work pertaining to this group . Particular attention is given to the earliest cover of the Saint Nicolas Church’s Gospel (1623) . With this cover an unknown craftsman introduces among Vratsa’s goldsmiths the constructional principle of arrangement of the binding from different elements . This scheme is later adopted in the execution of the other four precious covers.The presented five works display common technological characteristics and share the usage of identical relief patterns (baskii) for a long period of time. All these features testify to the existence of solid Vratsa’s goldsmith tradi- tion of making Gospels’ covers in 17th c. But whether Vratsa was an independent goldsmith center or the local metal works could be associated with the production from Chiprovtsi, the leading goldsmith center in the northwestern Bulgarian lands during this period? Nowadays it is difficult to give definite answer to this question since the examples, available for comparison, are not enough. The observations made in this article show that the approach followed by Vratza’s goldsmiths differs from the one applied by Chiprovtsi’s goldsmiths whose Gospel’s covers are made of one whole silver gilt sheet. Despite of the mutual influences and parallels undoubtedly existing in the goldsmith’s production of Vratsa and Chiprovtsi during this period, these are not sufficient evidence to consider Vratsa’s covers as part of the production of the Chiprovtsi Goldsmith School. The existing differences are essential and they outnumber the resemblances.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 29-35
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: Bulgarian