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Icons in Slovakia

From 3. June 2001
Zvolenský zámok, 1st floor, Zvolen
Curator: Katarína Chmelinová

The exposition on the first floor in Zvolen castle gallery begins with the display of the cabinet collection of icons of SNG. The objects are the heritage of medieval Byzantine painting.

In our territory it is mostly art from Orthodox and Greece-catholic communities of northeastern and eastern Slovakia.

The oldest icons are from 16th century. They are Mandylion (Christ's face) with relatively rare legend about the king Abgar, and a couple of cabinet icons represented evangelists St. Mark and St. Mathew from Lukov. The pictures, like Crucifixion, Madonna, or St. George killing the dragon, provide the idea about the most frequented themes of iconoclasts of the Orthodox churches.

After the sporadic organizing of icons into different presentations of old art, these artworks became a part of long-term expositions of old art of the gallery. The first long-term exposition of icons put together in 1976 Magda Keleti, a curator of the old collections. In that time, gallery could already be represented with countless, but very interesting restored collection. Icons later happened to be a prat of their own collection. By the administrative initiation during the following years, the number of the icons from the long-term expositions was cut down and a part was transported to the castle in Zvolen. In 1981 the reinstallation was set. It was during the time when the collection of icons was complemented by the painting of Archangel Michael from 16th century. The painting was gain by long-term borrowing from Fine art gallery in Prešov (today Šariš gallery in Prešov).

The complications with long-term expositions took place again even later. In 1991, the icons were restored and new expositions with the collection of icons were opened to public in 1994. Firstly, eastern Christian artworks were also installed in a similar way. Later, they were put down to depositary in Zvolen. And then couple years later, the icons were again opened to public in expositions in Bratislava in June of 1999.

The current exhibition, which is exhibited since 2001 in a hall at Zvolen castle, presents the most representative artworks from the competent countless collection. The oldest exhibited artworks are from 16th century. It is Mandylion with the relatively rare legend about the king Abgar caught in four scenes. Next, it is a couple of cabinet icons which portraits evangelists St. Mark and St. Mathew from Lukov - Venécia.

In 2002, after difficult restoration the dominance of the exhibition became large icon of the Last Judgment from Bogliarka. This icon is dated to 1660's right on its painting. Moreover, this painting is signed with the initials of the Master of Carpathian area of Monogramist C.Z. He is more famous in following years. Among other thing, this master created the icon of Aaron from Kurov (1656).

 
 
 

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