Christ Enthroned

Type: Icon

Period: 1839 year

Author: Yoanikiy (Yonko) Papa Vitanov

Yoanikiy (Yanko) papa Vitanov is one of the most outstanding iconographers of the famous Vitanov family line in the town of Tryavna. Papa Vitan is a priest, an iconographer and a woodcarver whose name is well known for his notable works. He was a sacelarius of the old church of St. Archangel Michael in Tryavna. Yoanikiy himself was born in 1798 in Tryavna. He studied pictorim art both with his father and his uncle Simeon Tsonyuv. Little is known about his Zife, whereas there are numerous written documents for his works. This highly productive iconographer painted icons over 40 years and undersigned his name with due self-confidence. His earliest icon dates back to 1814, it is the icon of "St. George" at the "Nativity of Holy Mother" Kilifarevo Monastery. Later on, he painted icons for several churches in Gabrovo, such as the Saint Trinity Church, the Holy Mother Church, and St. John the Baptist. His name is well known in the town of Sliven where he painted icons at the St. Sophia Church, Saint Dimitrius Church and Saint Nicholas Church. Some of his splendid works can be seen in Dryanovo, Teteven, Pirdop, Koprivshtitsa, Kazanlak, Varna, Elena, Zheravna, Chirpan, and the Sokolski Monastery near Gabrovo. At the St. Nicholas Church in the town of Veliko Tarnovo one can find an authentic gallery of his works and his name is entered among those of the church founders. He is also one of the sponsors of Petko Slaveykov's "Motley Posy" Magazine. Slaveykov himself referred to him as the "song-blessed Yoanikiy" for the latter's beautiful hymn signing. Talented, highly trained, tender, meditative and delicate this is what the iconographer Yoanikiy papa Vitanov of Tryavna is like. His death was commemorated in Pop Yovcho's Chronicle 24th March 1854. Nowadays his works are among the most noted in churches and monasteries, as well as in many muse- ums and galleries ml over the country. Yoanikiy papa Vitanov often worked in collaboration with his Uncle Simeon or his cousin Vitan Koyuv. It is possible that one or both of the latter made some of the icons, included in the Calendar.

School: Tryavna Iconographic School

Dimmensions (cm): 106 / 81


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Gabrovo

Town: Tryavna

Museum: Museum of wood-carving and iconography art


Country: Bulgaria

Province: Veliko Turnovo

Monastery: Transfiguration monastery


A traditional approach to the iconography on the theme. Christ is depicted on a throne, blessing with his right hand and holding an open book in the left. To the left and right of Christ in the top corners of the graphic area the waist-high images of the Virgin and John the Baptist are located on clouds. Jesus Christ's initials are engraved in two medallions.

Iconographical technique: Tempera

The varnish is applied in a thin and uniform layer. The gilding on the halos, the clothing, the throne and the corners of the frame is made of sheet gold. The graphic area is surrounded by an unconventionally decorated frame.

Base material: Wood

Beech boards fasten with keys.