The fresco compositions on the Old Testament

The Old Testament Wall Paintings in the Šiševo Monastery of St Nicholas (1630)

  • Summary/Abstract

    The subject matter of this paper are the prophets and Old-Testament scenes represented in the St Nicholas of Šiševo Church in the region Matka in vicinity of Skopje. The analyses based on juxtaposing of the captions in the two groups of prophets show that all the images in the nartex dome are presented also in a gallery of prophets on the nave vault. Compared with other ensembles, the nave choice of prophets in Šiševo shows that half of them have been replicated on the vault of the middle bay of the Holy Apostles Church in Peć (1633/34), which is yet another argument in support of the established thesis that both ensembles were completed by the members of the same atelier. The prophets selected in the Šiševo nave and the nartex hold texts with heterogeneous symbolic meanings. This conceptual approach highlights the idea that every single prophet with his written scroll is part of the general foundation of christocentric teaching. The four Old Testament scenes depicted in the niches below the dome represent allegories of the Theotokos. Located in the nartex, they emphasize the presence of the Holy Mother of God in its interior, in line with the geo-morphological symbolism of the Matka toponym.

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