A Mold for Relief Icons with an Image of the Virgin Mary Episkepsis (the Visitation) from the Shumen Fortress (12th-14th c.) Cover Image
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Матрица за релефни икони с изображение на Богородица Епискепсис (Знамение) от Шуменска крепост (XII–XIV в.)
A Mold for Relief Icons with an Image of the Virgin Mary Episkepsis (the Visitation) from the Shumen Fortress (12th-14th c.)

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

Summary/Abstract: Molds for the production of works made of precious metals are not among the most frequently encountered objects that deter­ mine the particular significance of a new monument. The contribution of this small group is increased significantly when a similar object is discovered in a given archaeological context. The present work addresses just one such monument. The mold was found in one of the excavations of the Shumen Fortress. On the face of the surface in relatively high relief, a half-length image of the Virgin Mary Episkepsis (the Visitation) was found, which is not a frequently encountered iconographic type. At the time when the model from the Shumen Fortress was made, traditions of picturing the Virgin Mary with the Christ child in various iconographic versions were already established. The present monument is a product of local production, which can be seen in its more crude and formal schematism, which distinguishes it from the correctly proportioned and strictly linear figures found in art from the capital. This raises a series of questions connected to the influences and paths for the acceptance of particular models and examples from leading centers. It is obvious that such influence is not direct, but rather is refracted in local traditions and practices in the production of similar works. Byzantine influence was widespread far beyond the em pire’s borders and can be witnessed in the cultural development of various comm unities. The definite stability of the capital’s presence is also reinforced by the artistic quality of the bronze mold from the Shumen Fortress.

  • Issue Year: 2008
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 23-25
  • Page Count: 3