St. Athanasius

Type: Icon

Period: From the beginning of the 18 century to the end of the 18 century

Author: Unknown

Dimmensions (cm): 126 / 77.5


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Sofia

Town: Sofia

Museum: National History Museum


Country: Bulgaria

Other source: Others

Object identification notes

The icon is an example of official mid-18th century art when baroque was made a large use of in the intricate organization of folds and drapes on the clothes that made the fabric look alive in its own dynamic situation, insubordinate to the form which covers. That trend originated in Mount Athos and very quickly became fashionable and spread in the art of the other Orthodox Balkan peoples.


St Athanasius the Great, Archbishop of Alexandria, is depicted full size and full face, with characteristic facial features, as described in the iconography manuals, sitting on a throne. A long stole with crosses and ornaments can be seen over the blue phelonion in addition to a pallium with lavish geometric patterns. The light sakkos with pink shades has a stylized floral motif all over. The golden crosses on the white omophorion are inscribed in rhombic medallions. St Athanasius blesses with one of his hands and holds a closed gospel in his other hand. He sits on a red pillow; his feet rest on a light-reddish stool. The gold throne with a high backrest and legs is lavishly decorated with exquisite columns, carving and gorgeous baroque details throughout the surface.

Iconographical technique: Tempera

Base material: Wood

The icon has an inset base.

State, restoration traces and comments

Broad profiled frame in red and golden. The background is golden above and olive-green beneath.