The Boyana Church
Marking the beginning of portrait painting in European art, the portraits of Sebastocrator Kaloyan and his wife Dessislava are the oldest realistic images of monumental art in Mediaeval Europe. The wonderfull frescoes were created by a Bulgarian artist a century before the Italian Renaissance, before Giotto.
The church is a monument of the Bulgarian mediaeval architecture and religious pictorial art. It consists of three parts, the eastern and oldest of which was built in 11-th century.
The mural paintings of the Boyanna church belong to three separate periods - 11-th, 13-th, and 14-th -15-th century respectively.The monument is famous for the high artistic value of the murals from 1259, comprising 89 scenes and 240 figures. The power of their vivid expressiveness and originality is based on the entirely new for the Middle Ages aesthetic humanism as well as the exceedingly realistic manner of presenting the images. Judging by the style and the blending of mixed fresco-distemper techniques, it is believed that the unknown Bulgarian artist was trained at the Turnovo School of Fine Art.
The frescoes represent some of the most valuable works of European mediaeval art, distinguished by explicitly outlined renaissance artistic devices and patterns.
The church is situated at a 8 km distance from Sofia.
It was announced a monument of UNESCO in 1979.
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