The Enlighteners of the Slavs, Cyril and Methodius and the Icon-painters of the Late National Revival Period Cover Image
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Славянските просветители Кирил и Методий и късновъзрожденските зографи
The Enlighteners of the Slavs, Cyril and Methodius and the Icon-painters of the Late National Revival Period

Author(s): Elena Genova
Subject(s): Christian Theology and Religion, History, Fine Arts / Performing Arts, History of Church(es), Theology and Religion, Eastern Orthodoxy
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: The church murals of the period of Bulgarian National Revival include inevitably in the tier of the standing saints representations of SS Cyril and Methodius, among the Slavic holy hierarchs. An extraordinary in terms of its scope phenomenon of the age was the mass painting of their images together on icons and murals. Each church either commissioned or was presented with several at times icons of the holy brothers or icon-painters rendered their representations. The shaping of the representations of SS Cyril and Methodius in a joint composition, evincing certain attributes, could be explained not only by the rapid and ubiquitous establishing of a jointly celebrated feast day of the two saints. This composition was predicated on literary sources rather than on repetition and copying of medieval models. It highlighted their isoapostolic contribution to the cause. In the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries, a team of icon-painters from Bansko worked in the southwestern parts of Bulgaria: Michalko Uvanov Golev and Dimiter Sirleshtov, who painted 11 churches in the regions of Blagoevgrad and Kyustendil. SS Cyril and Methodius are painted at the churches of The Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple, Blagoevgrad (1882–1889); of St John the Baptist, village of Bistritsa/Dubova Neighbourhood (1882–1883); St Elijah the Prophet, village of Selishte(1888–1889); St Michael the Archangel, village of Leshko (1889); The Holy Ascension, village of Pokrovnik (1891–1901); St Demetrius, village of Drenkovo (1892–1893); St Demetrius, village of Marulevo (1893); St Michael the Archangel, village of Logodash (1896–1898); SS Peter and Paul, village of Palat, region of Blagoevgrad (1909–1910). The representations of SS Cyril and Methodius by Michalko Golev and Dimiter Sirleshtov demonstrate the various types of compositions they have used, including the representations of the holy brother in the altar apse. Moreover, they show also the committed attitude towards the personalities of the holy brothers, typical not only of the two icon-painters, but also of the rest of the icon-painters from the region, who stood for their national identity until 1912.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 343-357
  • Page Count: 15
  • Language: English, Bulgarian