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«Approchez avec crainte de Dieu, foi et amour» : le programme iconographique de la travée occidentale de l’abside en Moldavie (XVe – XVIe siècles)

Revue Roumaine d'Histoire de l'Art : Série Beaux-Arts. 2015;(LII):77-94


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Revue Roumaine d'Histoire de l'Art : Série Beaux-Arts

ISSN: 0556-8080 (Print); 2067-5127 (Online)

Publisher: Publishing House of the Romanian Academy

Society/Institution: G. Oprescu Institute of Art History

LCC Subject Category: Fine Arts: Arts in general

Country of publisher: Romania

Language of fulltext: French, English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Vlad Bedros (National University of Arts Bucharest)


Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 40 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper, informed by an inventory of the apse iconography in Moldavian monuments from the late 15th to the first half of the 16th century, draws attention to an overlooked element of the otherwise familiar iconographic system employed – with occasional nuances – within the Post-Byzantine tradition in the aftermath of the Alosis: the selection of themes to be displayed in the bay which links the apse to the naos. The arrangements encountered in monuments dating from (approx.) 1490 to 1535 put forward a variety of formulas which – although described in a sequence that deliberately emphasizes the similarities which came across – are nonetheless indicative of a broad and not necessarily fluent use of the late Byzantine tradition. It seems that the basic message conveyed by these iconographic boundaries aims at stressing the holiness of the sanctuary (involving a separation from the iconography of the naos, in the cases of Probota and Saint-Georges in Suceava) but also, in a manner which could be informed by the late Byzantine perception of the liturgy – as deduced from the writings of Nicolas Cabasilas and St. Simeon of Thessaloniki –, at joining together naos and apse, via ‘iconographic belts’ (most frequently the Passion cycle, which sets out from and ends up in the sanctuary). The abundance of theophanic themes invites one to consider this iconographic thresholds in relation with the receiving of Communion, administered on the solea which lies underneath.