Tarnovo Literary School
“ST. CYRIL AND ST. METHODIUS” UNIVERSITY OF VELIKO TARNOVO - UNIVERSITY PRESS

The Influence of Veliko Tarnovo in An Icon of Ss. Cyril and Methodius by Nikola Vasilev from Shumen


Authors:
Rostislava G. Todorova Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, Bulgaria

Pages: 686-698

Abstract:

The Renaissance spirit of Veliko Tarnovo leaves its marks not only on the medieval Bulgarian art, but also on the art of the Bulgarian National Revival period. Its traces are noticeable even in the work of painters that have not had anything in common with the city. This is exactly the case with an icon by Nikola Vasilev – the most well-known icon painter from Shumen – painted in 1891. There the Holy Brothers are portrayed against the backdrop of a fantastical capital city named to be Preslav, but containing a sufficient number of credible elements to link it with the current appearance of Tarnovo at that time. The landscape consists fortress walls that look like those of Tsarevets and Trapezitsa and several large buildings, one of which resembles the Usta Kolyo Ficheto’s Konak. Tree Bulgarian national flags placed on decorated pillars crown the whole composition and remind of the Tarnovo Constitution, turning the image to a memoir of the spirit of that time. Although the icon was mentioned by Asen Vasiliev it has not been studied in details yet. Here it will be presented in the context of the iconography of St. Cyril and Methodius typical of Nikola Vassilev whose favorite storyline is the pictures of the Brothers.

Keywords:

SS. Cyril and Methodius, Iconography, Veliko Tarnovo, Shumen, Nikola Vasilev

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