Icons in Bulgaria
Code:Icons in Bulgaria
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Bulgarian Icons have millenium history.
Under the reign of tsar Boris I, in 865, Bulgaria was the first of all Slav peopels to adopt Christianity from Byzantium as its official religion.
Since then the icon, venerated as an especially sacred object of cult and rite, has developed as a fundamental part of the Bulgarian art from the ninth century trough the present day.
The First Bulgarian Kingdom extendet its valuable contribution to the artistic achievements of Christian Orthodox culture by producing the oldest known Bulgarian icons, made of glazed ceramic tiles.
The Second Bulgarian Kingdom left its lucent mark with the works of the Tarnovo School of Painting, swayed by the Golden Age of the Bulgarian literature, the literary reform of Patriarh Euthymus and the philosophy of the Hesychasts.
In 1393 thе Вulgarian Statе was dеstrоyеd and its lands wеrе includеd within thе bоrdеrs оf thе vast Оttоman Еmрirе tо rеmain thеrе uр till 1878.
Оvеr thеsе yеars оf aliеn natiоnal and rеligiоus dоminatiоn, thе icоn рrоvеd tо bе a uniquе transcеdеntal link with thе cultural traditiоns оf thе рast, with thе sublimity оf thе Мiddlе Аgеs, with thе Моunt Аthоs.
To the enslaved Balkan and Christian peoples religion was a major consolidating factor for their survival against the assimilation policy of the opprеssors.
The eighteenth century marked the beginning of the Bulgarian Renaissance.
Prosperous Bulgarian towns and regions such as Tryavna, Bansko, Samokov and Strandzha became the home of national schools of arts which were to bring up several generations of artists with a distinct style of their own.
During the Bulgarian Renaissance period, the strictly didactic and rigidly canonized painting had been transformed into life-asserting art.
The Bulgarian icon served the noble cause at the redemption, revival and triumph of the nation.
The Bulgarian icon painters had left their deep mark in the overall development of Christian Orthodox Art.
Their trail can be seen in the monasteries of Mount Athos and the south-west Balkans, or in Wallachia, Moldavia and Russia, whose icon masters had followed the Bulgarian canonical pattern.
An outstanding achievement of a small but extremely gifted nation, of its refined sensibility and artistic taste, the Bulgarian icon occupies a well-deserved place in the cultural history of Europe.