The Painted Churches of Romania with Dr. Guillaume Durand - Context Travel

The Painted Churches of Romania with Dr. Guillaume Durand


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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 / lecturer in this country for French citizens.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
50%
(4)
25%
(2)
25%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C.F.

Excellent program, knowledgable and engaging moderator- fascinating to learn about the history and making of these beautiful painted churches.

A
A.
Fascinating

Guest did not leave comment

L
L.H.
Interesting, but perhaps more for the specialist

The painted churches are certainly stunning, but I found this talk a little too specialised for someone, such as myself, new to both religious art and Romania. The first half was interesting, but the extensive detail on the paintings rather lost me in the second half. I would have liked to know more about the architecture, the interiors and the social and religious context...
However I'm sure that those who already know something about religious art would find it fascinating. And the photos/illustrations were beautiful!

E
E.C.
Painted churches of Romania

We really enjoyed the talk - learned lots and afterwards continued to talk about it!

C
C.C.
Unique Churches of Moldavia

What fantastic monuments to the attempt by a Prince to build a bridge to another religion. More appropriate than ever.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
50%
(4)
25%
(2)
25%
(2)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
C
C.F.

Excellent program, knowledgable and engaging moderator- fascinating to learn about the history and making of these beautiful painted churches.

A
A.
Fascinating

Guest did not leave comment

L
L.H.
Interesting, but perhaps more for the specialist

The painted churches are certainly stunning, but I found this talk a little too specialised for someone, such as myself, new to both religious art and Romania. The first half was interesting, but the extensive detail on the paintings rather lost me in the second half. I would have liked to know more about the architecture, the interiors and the social and religious context...
However I'm sure that those who already know something about religious art would find it fascinating. And the photos/illustrations were beautiful!

E
E.C.
Painted churches of Romania

We really enjoyed the talk - learned lots and afterwards continued to talk about it!

C
C.C.
Unique Churches of Moldavia

What fantastic monuments to the attempt by a Prince to build a bridge to another religion. More appropriate than ever.