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Georgia

Ubisi

The Monastery of Ubisi in Imereti, some 25 km from the town of Kharagauli, was founded in the 9th century on the orders of King Demetre of Abkhazia by Gregory of Khandzta, one of the greatest Georgian Holy Fathers. The small church, built in 826-830 and dedicated to St. George, was originally a single dome-less hall with the apse on its eastern part, covered by a ribbed barrel vault. Presumably in the 12th century annexes were added to the lateral and western parts. Innumerable inscriptions and graffiti cover the external walls. The complex also comprises a four storey tower (AD 1141). At the end of the 13th and start of the 14th century, during the reign of King Konstantine I of Western Georgia, the monastery was adorned with a huge ensemble of icons (today preserved at the National Museum, Tbilisi) and mural paintings. These murals, which were executed in the first quarter of the14th century, are the work of the Master Gerasime and clearly display the main artistic features of Palaiologan painting. The compositions are loaded with highly mobile and expressive figures as well as architectural and landscape settings. Scales and proportions shift and complex foreshortenings give a sense of distortion. We see figures with curved backs and strict profiles, screaming contrasting colours and sharp white highlights. The wall paintings feature a Deesis in the apse and underneath a Last Supper with a Communion of the Apostles. The Pantokrator is represented on the vault, as well as God the Father, the Holy Spirit and a cycle of the great feasts, which continues below, along the walls, where – in the lower registers – the life of Saint George is depicted.


View of the Monastery Entrance (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Relief on the window of the Eastern Façade, 14th century (?) (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Graffiti, South Entrance (Photo: Dror Maayan)

St. George, fresco by Gerasime, first quarter of the 14th century, Western Wall (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Transfiguration (details), fresco by Gerasime, 14th century, Northern Wall (Photo: Dror Maayan)

St. George destroys Temples and Idols (detail), fresco by Gerasime, 14th century, Southern Wall (Photo: Dror Maayan)

King Diocletian (detail from: King Diocletian and the Magicians), fresco by Gerasime, 14th century, Southern Wall (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Christ (detail from: Communion of the Apostels), fresco by Gerasime, 14th century, Eastern Apse (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Annunciation, fresco by Gerasime, 14th century, Northern Wall (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Ascension of Christ (detail), fresco by Gerasime, 14th century, Northern Wall (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Ascension of Christ, fresco by Gerasime, 14th century, Northern Wall (Photo: Dror Maayan)

Ornamental Jams of a Window on the Southern Wall, fresco by Gerasime, 14th century (Photo: Dror Maayan)




© KHI in Florence | 26.09.2020 17:08:47