About the history of two late murals

The Red Church is a remarkable monument of early Christian temple architecture, which existed in the period IV-XIII century. A number of Bulgarian (Stefan Boyadzhiev, Margarita Vaklinova) and foreign scientists (Andre Grabar, Andrey Frolov) studied her history. Today, it is believed that the original cult building, representing the martyrdom, was transformed into a church during the reign of the Byzantine emperor Anastasius (491-518). The first painting of the building, probably the work of a Constantinople master painter, in the spirit of the Balkan painting tradition, dates back to that time. Subsequently, at the end of the 10th or the beginning of the 11th century, the church was painted for the second time, and this layer is characterized by following the system available to the older one, filling it in places with new plots and images. A brown frame surrounds the scenes of all later murals. In 1921, this type of image was first documented in the form of watercolor paintings by Olga Belokopitova, the originals of which are now kept in the Byzantine Library of the Collège de France in Paris. In the exposition of IM-Perushtitsa, in the section dedicated to the medieval history of the land, visitors can get acquainted with copies of the above-mentioned drawings. Preserved murals include images typical of the feudal era. The feudal military leader undertook the painting of churches with images of archangels and military saints - his patrons and patrons of the whole class. To some extent, the preserved color of the paintings preserves the specific color of the images, which gives a clearer idea of the style and artistic level of the painter. The artist has painted on familiar and built models with traditional and rich clothing of the presented characters.


Mural with an image of St. Archangel Michael

This partially surviving fragment of St. Michael the Archangel is dressed in an imperial costume, with a scepter in hand. The golden halo around his head is shown in intense yellow; the wings and hair are brown. The lower part of the figure is missing, the facial features, probably modeled with greenish shadows, have been erased. The imperial loros of the archangel is yellow (gold), studded with pearls and precious, green in color, stones. He is wearing a brown dalmatian with pearl medallions. Brown-violet is the cuff of the tunic, trimmed with gold (yellow).


Mural with an image of St. George

Този светец е изобразен на бял кон. Във вдигнатата си ръка държи копие, а под лявото му рамо се вижда богато украсен щит. Облечен пищно, в украсена с медальони и перли кафява туника, жълта дреха и закопчана на рамото кафява хламида.


 Text: Mario Jasim