Domestic Icons in the Collection of the National Art Gallery — Semantics and Morphology Cover Image
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Домашните икони в колекцията на НХГ — семантика и морфология
Domestic Icons in the Collection of the National Art Gallery — Semantics and Morphology

Author(s): Elena Popova
Subject(s): Theatre, Dance, Performing Arts
Published by: Институт за изследване на изкуствата, Българска академия на науките

Summary/Abstract: History of art has always looked down on domestic icons as a primitive "low" form of church art, seeing in them only small wooden triptychs, produced on a mass scale in the 19th century. Actually domestic icons, especially drawn for private veneration and designed for the home are in their characteristics, quite different from those painted fore the church. They are a phenomenon, which developed under the influence of their own immanent laws, directly determined by the context of the house and religious ritual practices within which they function. Moreover the triptych is by far not the sole representative of this kind of art. The crypt of the National Gallery in Sofia possess a remarkable collection of domestic icons, including cheap triptychs , as well as fine examples of triptychs done with high professionalism and artistic taste, icons done with a precise technique and complex decoration of woodcarving. Like a number of ateliers in the I8th c. and the I9th c. they also had specialized in cheap production for the market and parallel elite ateliers, which made expensive home icons, accepted commissions coming from secular persons and members of the clergy. Domestic icons, regardless whether they were done on more than one boards or not, in their content consisted of many elements, which allows automatically to identify them either as "Virgin with saints", or "The Virgin with saints and feasts", "Deesis with Saints", etc. Namely the selection and combination of certain figures and scenes on the surface of the icon classify a certain type as a domestic icon or an icon designated for the church. Combinations of certain figures and scenes are also decisive in cases when the issue of the professional and social status of the owner of the icon are raised.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 31-42
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: Bulgarian