The Entry into Jerusalem

Type: Icon

Period: The beginning of the 19 century

Author: Toma Vishanov-Molera

Toma Vishanov-Molera, born around 1750, painter of icons and murals, founder of the Bansko school of art. He grew up in the family of the clergyman Vishan. Around 1765 he went to Vienna, where he studied painting. It is not known who were his teachers there or when he returned to Bansko. His fellow villagers called him the Moler, Molera(from German Maler ‘painter’), whence the entire family's surname. Under the influence of the European 18th century art Toma Vishanov painted his works in a new manner, unknown until then in Orthodox art. The figures are realistic, vivid, expressive. Toma Vishanov is an innovator in the early period of Bulgarian Renaissance. His ideas on art were not understood and at first were rejected by his contemporaries. His work has not been studied extensively. He died after 1811 in Bansko.

School: Bansko Iconographic School

Dimmensions (cm): 29 / 22.5 / 2


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Blagoevgrad

Town: Bansko

Museum: Museum complex


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Blagoevgrad

Town: Bansko

Church: St. Trinity

Object identification notes

Toma Vishanov-Molera (?)


A traditional treatment of the theme. The central figure is that of Christ, mounted on a donkey with no saddle, holding in his hand the rein, and blessing with his right hand. He is followed by the twelve disciples, painted behind him, using the method of the "isocephaly" - a manner of painting a greater number of saints or righteous men used in the iconography. Only the figure of Saint Peter is painted in full length, and there is a slight hint of the faces of Saint John the Theologian an of Saint Andrew. At the gates of Jerusalem a group of lay people are welcoming Christ, greeting him with palm twigs. Painted in the second distance is a big tree, seated in which is the short man Zacchaeus, who is breaking twigs and throwing them to the welcomers. Several children are spreading a white cloak in front of the donkey with Christ on its back. Painted behind Christ and the disciples is a landscape: a steep slope and trees, and in the distance - mountains and a city. The scene is a solemn and festive one.

Iconographical technique: Tempera

The varnish cover is applied thinly and evenly.

Base material: Wood

The icon's base is a one-piece softwood panel. The ground coat is of plaster, laid thinly.

State, restoration traces and comments

There are no traces of any previous restorative intervention.