Fresco-Icons on Façades of Churches in Upper Svaneti (Georgia)

Nino Chichinadze

Abstract


The present article focuses on exterior mural decoration imitating icons, which are placed on the south facades of the Church of the Archangels in Iprari and St. George church in Ipkhi (Upper Svaneti), dating from the 13th century. The iconography of these fresco-icons constituting the Deesis is interpreted as a visual reference to the chancel barrier. The facade murals discussed in the article play a role in the complex relations between individual parts of the Christian church. The templon imagery, intended for those for whom the sanctuary is not accessible, is a liminal marker. I argue that the facade fresco-icons depicting the Deesis function as templon imagery addressing the space in front of them.

 


Keywords


Fresco; icons; facade; chancel barrier; epistyle

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