Icon of St. Blaise with Narrative Scenes in the Collection of the Church of St Athanasius in Varna Cover Image
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Икона на Св. Власий с житийни сцени в сбирката на църквата „Св. Атанасий” във Варна
Icon of St. Blaise with Narrative Scenes in the Collection of the Church of St Athanasius in Varna

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

Summary/Abstract: The church of St Athanasius in Varna has in its icon collection a very interesting icon of St Blaise with narrative scenes, dated 1879 precisely. Placed at the center of the icon is St Blaise while at the lower part are painted three scenes of a saint’s life: St Blaise Resurrects the Ox, the Ploughman Sows Wheat and the Old Sheppard Grazes a Flock. Under these scenes a donor’s inscription is placed. Of special interest are the scenes with St Blaise. From the three depicted scenes in the Varna icon only St Blaise Resurrects the Ox is directly connected with the saint and refers to his capacity of animal healer, while the other two do not have a connection with his hagiographic. In spite of this it is these scenes that are featured in the icon of St modest and in the icon of St. Blaise with hagiographic scenes (1864) at the Regional Historical museum in Kardzhali as well as in the icon of St modest (circa 1860), found in the National Historical museum in Sofia. The scene Old Sheppard Grazes a Flock is pictured also in icons of St Modest, one of them (1875) found in the National Historical museum and the other (1875) in the Art Gallery in Burgas. On the other hand, the scene St. Blaise Resurrects the Ox is identical in iconography with the scene St. modest Blesses the Animals in an engraving of St. John the Baptist with Saints (1836). Therefore, the possibility for the scenes, connected with St. Blaise, to intertwine with scenes, referring to St modest, who is also honored as patron of animals, are quite probable. The anonymous icon painter of the Varna icon of St Blaise is one of the major icon painters from the Revival period who excellently painted in the accepted at that time style as well as in the not that popular naïve artistic style, called „art naïve”, which was quite popular on the Balkans during the 19th c. The icon from Varna is especially valuable also due to the fact that it is among the few known today icons of St Blaise with scenes of saint’s life.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 41-43
  • Page Count: 3
  • Language: Bulgarian