medievalwallpaintings

Dr Ellie Pridgeon FSA promoting the study of medieval wall paintings

Medieval Wall Painting: Travels in Bulgaria

on October 2, 2014

Ivanovo Rock Monastery is located 20km south of Rousse in northern Bulgaria, and is set about 32 metres above the Rusenski Lom river.

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Holy Virgin’s church, Ivanovo Rock Monastery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock-hewn monasteries were popular in medieval Bulgaria, and there is a long tradition of churches in caves.   Ivanovo was founded in the thirteenth century, and consists of cells, churches and chapels carved out of solid rock.  The monastery complex once consisted of c.40 churches, but most do not survive today.

Holy Virgin’s church, Ivanovo Rock Monastery

The Holy Virgin’s rock church, which consists of two cells and a small chapel, was constructed and painted with financial support of Tsar Ivan Alexander.  The murals are of exceptional quality for 14th century Bulgarian art, and are a blend of Bulgarian and Hellenistic styles.   Scenes include the Passion, the Life of St John the Baptist, and the lives of the early Syrian Christian hermits (in the chapel).  Images in the narthex include saints, as well as donors Tsar Ivan Alexander and Tsarina Theodora presenting a model cave.

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Holy Virgin’s church, Ivanovo Rock Monastery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ivanovo Rock Monastery is a UNESCO world heritage site.

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