The Ascension of the Prophet Elijah

Type: Icon

Period: From the beginning of the 19 century to the end of the 19 century

Author: Unknown

School: Bansko Iconographic School

Dimmensions (cm): 71 / 46 / 2.5


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Blagoevgrad

Town: Bansko

Museum: Museum complex


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Blagoevgrad

Village: Osenovo

Church: St. Archangel Michael


The theme is treated in a vertical composition on two levels. Painted in full length, in the lower part are the prophet Elijah, sitting in the cave (in the lower left corner) and the prophet Elisha (in the lower right corner) with his arms thrown up, watching the miracle of the ascension. The background is a landscape with a low horizon. Painted conventionally in the foreground is the cave, in which the prophet Elijah had secluded himself, and the ravens which, by the Lord's command, had been bringing food to the hermit. Painted in the composition is a hilly country, flowing through which is the brook Khorath, a tributary of the river Jordan. The composition's upper part is taken up by the chariot, in which the prophet Elijah ascends to heaven. The direction of the latter's motion is from right to left. The background is a conventional one: a sky, lit up by a light, coming from the upper left corner. Put to the chariot are two winged horses, led by the figure of an angel, kneeling on a cloud. The prophet Elijah is portrayed seated in the chariot in the moment when he is throwing down his mantle to his disciple Elisha.

Iconographical technique: Combined

A distemper painting, with an additional quantity of drying-up oil in the vehicle. The layer of painting is a thin one, of a smooth texture, executed in the classical iconographic technique. The modelling of the details is finely and precisely done. The varnish cover is laid thinly and evenly. The gilding is on bole with gold-leaf, subsequently polished. Liquid ground gold has also been used in the modelling of the garments.

Base material: Wood

The icon's base is a softwood panel with two reinforcing inserted beams. The ground coat is of plaster, laid in several layers and wellground.

State, restoration traces and comments

There are no traces of any previous restorative intervention.