Bulgarian Arts

Bulgarian art, the art on the territory of Bulgaria. Of the since the 2nd millennium BC BC Thracians who settled in ancient Bulgaria testify to kurgan and numerous gold finds (Thracian art).

Middle Ages to Renaissance: According to Youremailverifier, the most important monument from the earliest Bulgarian times is the rider of Madara (beginning of the 8th century), a life-size rock relief that was created under Sassanid influence.

Pliska, initially the capital of the First Bulgarian Empire, was surrounded by strong fortress walls based on the Roman-Byzantine model, and owned palaces, churches and baths (9th / 10th centuries). Preslav, the new capital of the First Bulgarian Empire, was also heavily fortified (destroyed in 1388). One of its churches and monasteries is the “Round (or Golden) Church” with its multicolored decoration made of glazed clay plates, which is typical of Bulgarian art of this period (Preslav pottery). In other cities such as Sredez (Sofia), Nessebar, Ohrid, sacred buildings were newly built or rebuilt (Old Metropolitan Church in Nessebar, Sophienkirche in Sofia, Sophienkirche in Ohrid as a pillar basilica, Stephanosbasilika in Nessebar).

In Veliko Tarnowo, the capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire, a small, mostly single-nave type of church was built, which was taken over from Byzantium and whose vaults and arches lead to the dome (St. Nicholas Church in Melnik, 40 Martyrs Church in Veliko Tarnowo). The outer walls are structured by blind arches and enlivened by rhythmic alternation of red and white stones or ceramics. There are two-story churches from the 13th century, among others. in Bachkovo and Boyana (near Sofia). Some churches in Nessebar (Pantocrator Church, Johannes Aleiturgetos Church, both 14th century) are among the most important cross-domed churches. The painting, executed in pure fresco technique (»fresco buono«) in the church of Saints Nicholas and Panteleimon in Bojana (today Sofia), is one of the highlights of Southeast European art of the 13th century. Century and has Renaissance-like features. The murals of the Ivanovo cave church (shortly after 1232), donated by the Tsar Ivan Assen II, prepared the ground for the paleological renaissance at the end of the 13th and beginning of the 14th century. The frescoes in St. John’s Church in Semen (around 1300) are interspersed with pre-iconoclastic elements. Of the surviving illuminated manuscripts, the Gospel Book of Tsar Ivan Alexander from 1355/56 is particularly richly illustrated (London, British Museum). After the Turkish conquest, Bulgarian art was practiced almost exclusively in remote monasteries. The blurring of national peculiarities and dependence on the stagnating art of Athos are characteristic.

19th century: A refuge of Bulgarian culture was the Rila monastery, which was renovated in 1834–37 (paintings mainly by S. Sograf in 1844). – After the liberation from Turkish rule in 1878, Bulgarian art experienced a significant boom, around which the painters Anton Mitow (* 1862, † 1930), I. Angelow as well as the Czechs Ivan Mrkvička (* 1856, † 1939) and Jaroslav Vešin fought (* 1860, † 1915) earned (in 1896 the state drawing school was founded, which became an art academy in 1921; in 1895 the art magazine “Iskustwo” was published). Characteristic tendencies of this time were: traditional painting with its main representatives I. Mrkvička, A. Mitow, J. Vešin and an art that was based on the traditions of icon painting, among others, characterized by naturalistic academicism and democratic pathos. Nikola Obrasopissow (* 1828, † 1915), Christo Zokew (* 1847, † 1883), Nikolai Pawlowitsch (* 1835, † 1894), Georgi Danschow (* 1846, † 1908).

Modern and present: Throughout the 19th century and also at the beginning of the 20th century, Bulgarian architecture was shaped by historicism, which v. a. Architects from Western Europe and Russia brought with them (building of the National Assembly by Konstantin Jovanovič [* 1849, † 1923] from Vienna, 1885; Alexander Nevsky Cathedral by Alexander Pomeranzew [* 1848, † 1918] from Moscow, 1904–12; both in Sofia). The architecture after the Second World War is characterized by functionalism, historicism and complex architectural solutions, which also include sculpture, monumental painting and environmental design (including traffic engineering solutions) (Kulturpalast in Sofia by Alexandar Barow, * 1931, † 1999, and Atanas Agura, * 1926, † 2008; 1978-81).

In the first half of the 20th century, the Impressionist style dominated landscape, portrait and history painting, represented among others. by N. Petrow, Elena Karamichajlowa (* 1875, † 1961), Nikola Michailow (* 1876, † 1960). A representative of critical realism in painting was I. Angelow. The new Bulgarian sculpture was founded by the sculptors Boris Schaz (* 1866, † 1932), Sheko Spiridonow (* 1867, † 1945), Andrei Nikolow (* 1878, † 1959), who trained in Paris and Munich. The art of the 1920s and 30s was shaped by the strongly democratic Heimatkunst movement (Rodno Iskustwo) (painting: I. Milew; Zanko Lawrenow, * 1896, † 1978; Sirak Skitnik, * 1881, † 1943; Slatju Boyajiev, * 1903, † 1976; Plastic: Iwan Lasarow, * 1889, † 1952; Graphics: Wassil Zachariew, * 1895, † 1971; P. Georgiev). At the end of the 1920s the movement of the »New Artists« (Nowi Chudoschnizi) came into being, which brought about a radical change in the plastic and painterly means of expression and found its models in P. Cézanne and the Soviet avant-garde art of the 1920s (painting: Kiril Zonew, * 1896, † 1961; Ilija Petrow, * 1903, † 1975; Nenko Balkanski, * 1907, † 1977; sculpture: I. Funew; L. Dalchev; Waska Emanuilowa, * 1905, † 1985; Graphics: B. Angeluschew; Alexandar Schendow, * 1901, † 1953; I. Beschkow). Modern Bulgarian art tends towards multilayered reflection of human existence (painting: Slawka Denewa, * 1929, † 1984; Emil Stoitschew, * 1935; Svetlin Russew, * 1933; graphic: Lyubomir Janew, * 1951), to adopt “associative realism” Slatju Bojadschiev, v. a. with the Plovdiv artists (Christo Stefanow, * 1931; Georgi Boschilow, * 1935), or ties in with medieval Bulgarian art (painting: Dimitar Kirov, * 1935, † 2008; Dimitar Kazakow, * 1933, † 1989; Sculpture: Georgi Tschapkanow, * 1943; Valentin Startschew, * 1935). Other styles are magical realism (Joan Leviev, * 1934), photorealism (Teofan Sokerow, * 1943), neo-expressionism (Atanas Pazew, * 1926), the new savages (Nikolai Majstorow, * 1943). The representatives of installation art include Nedko Solakow (* 1957) and Lyuben Kostow.

Bulgarian Arts