ENDOLTSEVA E.Yu., DBAR D. (ARCHIMANDRITE). Architectural Decoration and Small Forms in Dranda Church: New Findings

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.5.18 

Ekaterina Yu. Endoltseva

Candidate of Sciences (History of Art), Senior Researcher,

Institute of Oriental Studies, RAS,

Rozhdestvenka St., 12, 107031 Moscow, Russian Federation

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Dorotheos Dbar (Archimandrite)

Doctor of Theology, Aristotle University,

Thessaloniki, Greece; Senior Researcher, Department of History,

Abkhazian Institute for Humanities, Academy of Sciences of Abkhazia, 

Aidgilara St., 44, 384900 Sukhumi, Abkhazia

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Abstract. Introduction. This article deals with the altar barrier from the medieval church in Dranda village (Abkhazia). It is not preserved in its original form. Two slabs with figurative compositions were published by countess P. S. Uvarova at the end of the 19th century. Then they were lost.

Methods. The modern researchers can analyze them only due to photo types made by the countess. Some fragments from Dranda church are now preserved in the collection of the Abkhazian State Museum in Sukhum. One new fragment (which was not known before) with the representation of the Jonas prophet (devoured by the sea monster) has been discovered in the collection of the Archaeological Museum of the Saint Metropolis of Abkhazia (New Athos). There are also four other fragments of the architectural decoration from the Dranda church.

Analysis. Some of them could possibly be part of the altar barrier. The rest of the fragments were probably from the outer or inner facing of the same church. The article also deals with the problem of the date of the rare image of prophet Jonas. The fragment can be dated by the 10th century. The researchers dispute the date for the other fragments of the altar barrier.

Results. The authors of the article incline to the 10th century for all the fragments of the shattered altar barrier. Father Dorotheos Dbar analyzed information about the history and origin of the reliefs in question. E. Yu. Endoltseva made iconographical research of the carved images.

Key words: architectural decoration, Abkhazia, altar barrier, outer facing, Christian iconography, whale, prophet Jonas.

Citation. Endoltseva E.Yu., Dbar D. (Archimandrite). Architectural Decoration and Small Forms in Dranda Church: New Findings. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 196-209. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2018.5.18.

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Architectural Decoration and Small Forms in Dranda Church: New Findings by Endoltseva E.Yu., Dbar D. (Archimandrite) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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