The region of Bucovina in Romania has a unique and breathtaking cultural heritage known as the Painted Churches. These are a set of six churches (originally twelve) entirely painted on the exterior walls which display religious topics such as the Last Judgment. This seminar will explore these wonderful painted churches, allowing participants to discover this unique UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Romanian region of Bucovina is located in the North-East part of the country, with the most amazing set of churches: Humor, Moldovita, Sucevita, Voronet. In the early sixteenth century, a prince, Peter Rareş, and the metropolitan, Grigorie Roşca, decided to cover the exterior walls of churches with scenes taken from the Old and the New Testament.
In order to understand the aims and objectives of these two men, we will first understand the overall historical context behind this influential decision. What was the mind of the Romanian elite like, seventy years after the Fall of Constantinople? How would they explain such a disaster?
We’ll then look in detail at the different topics and scenes: from the Akathist hymns (unseated hymn) to the Theotokos (Virgin) and to Saint Nicholas, the Genesis, and the Tree of Jesse. We’ll spend some time discussing the Last Judgement, which is depicted on an entire wall of approximately 320 sq ft (30 m²). Moving from a detailed reading of the scenes and icons, we will then be able to embrace the large picture and get a sense of the piety and wishes of this Romanian Elite.
Led by Guillaume Durand Ph.D., an expert on the history and art of Romania, this seminar will explore in-depth these fascinating painted Romania churches. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased knowledge of the region and its UNESCO World Heritage sites.
This seminar is excerpted from Dr. Durand's Romania: A Multi-Part Journey.
Passionate about the regions and countries at the crossroad of civilizations, Guillaume Durand, Ph.D. has long-standing expertise in Ancient art and archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin. Assistant dean and professor in archaeology and art history at the Institute for American Universities and the American College of the Mediterranean in Aix-en-Provence, France, Guillaume has traveled many times in Iran during these six past years in order to study the Persian Empires. He is also a tourist guide and lecturer in this country for French citizens.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.