Sunday, December 2, 2012

13th Century Bulgarian Mural Painting (fresco)

A beautiful First Day Cover from the United Nations (New York) with two exquisite stamps depicting the Art Series, Frescoes issued in 1981.

In 1973, the Government of Bulgaria presented the United Nations with a replica of a 13th century Bulgarian mural painting (fresco) which was painted inside Boyana Church near Sofia in 1259.  Boyana Church possesses some of Europe’s best 13th century paintings of church founders.  Frescoes are wall paintings created on damp plaster.  These issues belong to the Art at the U.N. Series.

Located on the outskirts of Sofia, Boyana Church consists of three buildings. The eastern church was built in the 10th century, then enlarged at the beginning of the 13th century by Sebastocrator Kaloyan, who ordered a second two-storey building to be erected next to it. The frescoes in this second church, painted in 1259, make it one of the most important collections of medieval paintings. The ensemble is completed by a third church, built at the beginning of the 19th century. This site is one of the most complete and perfectly preserved monuments of east European medieval art. 
The church was recently restored by means provided by UNESCO as part of their preservation program for World Cultural Heritage Sites.  The frescoes of Boyana are all dated to around 1259.
The United Nations (New York) issued in 1981 two stamps showing Sebastocrator Kaloyan (Theodor Tiro, one of the ancient Bulgarian rulers) and his wife, Madame Desislava. The frescoes are shown full size on the relatively small stamps.  Both stamps are alike, but in different face values. The stamps give a good impression of the splendour of the frescoes. Thank you very much Merja for this lovely FDC. The artistic postmark is also worth admiring.

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