TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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Brancovan Iconography. Style, representatives and themes
In contrast to the native Wallachian painting, the Greek painting of the 16th and 17th centuries brought a conservative note, and what will occur in the extensive iconography of the Hurezi Monastery at the dawn of the next century is a new, distinct iconic and stylistic expression of a post-bizantine, revitalized church art. The main iconographic themes are: 1. The votive painting of the Cantacuzins and Brancovans, 2. The portraits of stewards and craftsmen, such as the ones from Hurezi - Manea the masons foreman, Vucaşin Caragea the stonemason and Istrate the woodcarver, 3. The Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen, 4. The allegorical themes - such as the the Lapidation of St. Stephen, the Life of the True Monk and the Dormition of St. Ephrem the Syrian, 5. The mariological themes - The Intercession of the Mother of God, The Acatist Hymn, All of creation rejoices in you, It is truly meet to bless thee, O Theotokos, the Mother of God - the Source of Life. 6. Local Saints - Gregory the Decapolite and Nicodemus of Tismana, 7. Themes of allegorical, moralizing, eschatological character - Monastic Virtues and Prayer, Mother of All Virtues, The Ladder of John Climacus, The Last Judgment, 8. Representative Saints. Saint Procopius, Saints Varlaam and Joasaph, Sunday of All Saints. Finally, it is worth mentioning the contribution of several church painters of the time, which by their contribution became the headlights for future generations: Pârvu Mutu (1657-1735), the famous painter born in Câmpulung, contemporary with the well-known Greek Constantinos and his team: Ioan, Andrei, Stan, Neagoie, Ioachim, Marin şi Preda, Nicolae şi Efrem, Iosif şi Ioan etc. The school of Hurezi, through its representatives, will carry on these innovations of the new style, a style that will become a landmark and inspiring source in the development of the Romanian painting in the coming centuries.