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The Golden Age of Art

The Holy Mother
The Holy Mother

The rulers' protection and generous donations to the church and scholars, after the conversion to Christianity and during the Second Bulgarian Kingdom, led to the development of architecture and art - wall-painting, icon painting, and woodcarving. Art schools emerged. Icon painting flourished, but only few icons from this period have survived, unfortunately.

The 9-11th century miniatures were made in the Byzantine handwritten book style, and in the 13th century, the manuscripts were still few in numbers. In the 14th century, outstanding examples of iconography and miniatures in the so-called Paleologue style were created. The vestiges of medieval Bulgarian writings Bulgarian literature in Slavonic are kept in museums all over the world today. A few of the many significant works include the ancient Zograph Gospel (10th century - displayed in Saint Petersburg), the beautiful Asemanii's Gospel (10th - 11th century displayed at the Vatican), the Sinai Prayer Book (11th century - displayed in Sinai), Klotz's Collection (11th century, Trento, Innsbruck), the Tetraevangelia of Ivan Alexander (also called the London Gospel, 1355 - 56, British Museum, London; it is the most richly decorated Bulgarian manuscript, the high peak in the development of medieval Bulgarian miniature painting, with 366 color miniatures depicting the royal family), Manasiis Chronicle (1344 - 47; it is one of the most significant works of the medieval translation literature, with five copies kept in Moscow, the Vatican, Romania, the Hilendar Monastery, Saint Petersburg), the uniquely decorated Tomich Psalter (circa 1360, Moscow) and many others. The importance of medieval Bulgarian literature is illustrated by the following story: the famous Rheims Gospel (11th - 14th century, Rheims, France) used during the coronation ceremonies of French kings is an old Russian copy of a Bulgarian gospel.

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