St. Demetrius mounted

Type: Icon

Period: 1830 year

Author: Priest Dimiter Kunchov (Krustev)

Priest Dimiter Kanchov's family is among the highly regarded and recognized Tryavna families of icon painters. A goldsmith's son started the family, but who young Dimiter mastered the craft of icon painting from is unknown. Most probably he was related to some of the oldest icon painters' families in Tryavna and was schooled in their studios. It is beyond doubt that he possessed both a gift and an excellent training. Priest Dimiter Kanchov's path of life was long and stormy. Born in 1808, he lived'up to 93 - a patriarch's age for his time. As early as his youth he was known as a restless and a fascinating personality. Endowed with a beautiful voice, he had a talent for music and acting; he was hot-blooded, full of life and spontaneity and with a keen sense of patriotism. Dimiter Kanchov was an ardent supporter of the independent Bulgarian church. After a controversy with the Greek bishop he left Tryavna with his family and ran away. That flight changed his whole life. He didn't serve the church for more than fifty years, but devoted himself to the craft of icon painting. Priest Dimiter Kanchov roamed around distant regions - Wallachia, Macedonia, Thrace - painting icons and frescos in churches and monasteries. Priest Dimiter Kanchov's icon painting heritage is scattered in many places and is insufficiently studied. In 1838 he painted the frescos in the Church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel, as well as the icon of St. George with life scenes in the Church of St. George in the village of Arbanasi. The latter comparatively early work of his is one of his major achievements in icon painting. Other Dimiter Kanchov's works can be found in Ruse and Varna, in the regions of Yambol, Stara Zagora, Kazanlak, Veliko Tarnovo, Haskovo, etc. Until the end of his long life he painted household icons to provide for his large family. Three of his sons - Yonko, Hristo and Ivan - and his grandson Ivan Yonkov took up icon painting. His son Ivan pop Dimitrov and his grandson Ivan Yonkov received an academic education and did secular painting. Thus, through Priest Dimiter Kanchov's progeny, the Tryavna School of icon painting reached its natural end and joined the course of modern Bulgarian painting.

School: Tryavna Iconographic School


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Gabrovo

Town: Tryavna

Object identification notes

The icon is badly damaged, there are no sections of the painting layer in the upper and lower corners. There are deep cracks. The base is also badly damaged and eaten by tree eaters.


Canonical but unconventional compositional treatment of the theme.

Iconographical technique: Tempera

Gold-leaf, probaster, "scratch" and velaturas were used. The development of the images and clothes is typical of the Tryavna iconographic school. There are engravings on the halos. The images and the clothes are extremely masterful and masterly. The ornamentation is typical of the Renaissance icon painting.

Base material: Wood

Oak board