An exhibition of Romanian icons on glass by artist Teodora Roşca at Christ Church Cathedral Dublin, Tuesday 26 March until 7 April 2013
The Story of the Icon on Glass
In the last
three centuries the icon on glass painted in Romania, in the region of
Transylvania, has been visible in the European cultural landscape for
the beauty of the genuine folklore themes that it depicts.
Its story begins in Nicula village, where in 1699 a wooden icon of the
Virgin Mary, freshly painted by a priest from the bordering village,
wept. Since then the miracle-working icon of Virgin Mary, now carefully
preserved in the orthodox monastery raised there, draws great annual
pilgrimages during the religious feast called "Sântămăria" ["Saint
Mary"]. The first pilgrims were anxious to obtain an image of the
miraculous Madonna to take home. In this way the great spread of the
painting of icons on glass in Transylvania began.
These icons on glass reflect a particular thinking of the Transylvanian
Romanian peasant, living in an intercultural space.
They are also an expression of the interference of Eastern religious
thought with Western folk iconography, as the icon on glass, at that
time (eighteenth century), was already a tradition in Central Europe.
Hence, from Nicula village, gradually, the road to the South of the
Transylvanian icon – to the centers of Şcheii Braşov, Sebeş Valley,
Maierii of Alba Iulia, Mărginimea Sibiului or the region of Făgăraş
Mountains – encounters its Eastern mysticism and dogma.
In this respect, the fragile glass material is adopted for large
iconographic achievements, such as Doomsday (one version coming even
from the Saint Mount of Athos) or compositions with multiple scenes.