Sofia and Its Decorators or How the Image of a European Capital Was Created Cover Image
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София и нейните декоратори или как се гради образ на европейска столица
Sofia and Its Decorators or How the Image of a European Capital Was Created

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

Summary/Abstract: The object of the present study is the time period, the process and some of the actors in the dignifying, decorating and attempting to give an honorable, festive and beautiful appearance to a city – Sofia – the capital of the newly liberated Bulgaria. Several problems have been identified in the visualization of its new status and the bestowing of a sufficient image according to the authoritative European standards of artistic decorators of the time (as well as today). The article provides linguistic and historical parameters for the concepts of decorator and artistic decorator in the Bulgarian context during the modern epoch. Some of the representative achievements in the sphere of architectural decoration are examined, which clearly differentiate the two stages in the development of decoration as a profession, from the mastery of European models in the sphere of decorative art: the classicalizing stage, which is characterized primarily by work by foreign specialists and which introduced literal borrowings from the neo-styles distributed throughout Europe during the 19th century; and the modernizing stage, the path towards a modern appearance of the surroundings, based on the tradition and new inspiration from Sezessionism. The work of Andreas Grais on a series of buildings representative of their time is examined, as well as the decoration of the Sofia Mineral Baths, designed by H. Tachev, which shed light on facts about his activity that have not heretofore been published. Examples are also included from the work of S. Badzhov and B. Schatz.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 27-32
  • Page Count: 6