Bulgarian Frescoes: Feast of the Root
Very little is known of Bulgaria outside its borders, due in large part to the lack of training and financial support for translators, those spiders that criss-cross the line. This is particularly true when it comes to Orthodoxy, despite the obvious importance of Bulgaria in the history of Orthodox Christianity. This book is designed to correct this lacuna. Bulgarian Frescoes: Feast of the Root contains ten essays on Bulgarian frescoes by the Bulgarian writer Tsvetanka Elenkova and is accompanied by 125 colour photographs by Jonathan Dunne, which are themselves a valuable historical legacy given that many of the monasteries containing these frescoes are now abandoned. They are taken mainly from the monasteries of Sofia’s Little Holy Mountain – the area around the Bulgarian capital, which is dotted with monasteries – but they also transport the reader to other parts of Bulgaria, including the medieval capital, Veliko Tarnovo, and Nesebar on the Black Sea coast. By means of incisive and insightful reflections on Church feasts from the Nativity of Jesus to the Assumption of Mary, ordered according to the Church calendar, Elenkova highlights unusual aspects of iconography, details that could be missed at first sight, and gives an insider’s view of the little known riches of her country, which can easily rank alongside any important works of religious art in the rest of Europe. This book combines the verbal and the visual to present the religious art of Bulgaria in a format that is both easily accessible and spiritually uplifting.