Byzantine steatite icons from Bulgaria / Византийски стеатитови икони от България
Category: Byzantine art; Medieval Bulgarian Capital Tarnovo; Second Bulgarian Kingdom
Language: EnglishBulgarian (bilingual)

   The book is dedicated to a small part of Byzantinie applied art steatite sculpting. This soft stone, known since antiquity, enables masters and workshops in the Byzantine capital Constantinople to create magnificent works of small stone plastic. The number of steatite relief found during excavations in Medieval Bulgaria is not small.
   Many examples are given in the book of the re-use of steatite icons, as well as of their secondary use as raw material at the workshops for small stone plastic in the capital Tarnovo and other urban and monastery centers of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom. It appears also that a large part of the steatite icons have been found in the church buildings which once again shows that these works have reached Bulgaria within the 12th14th century mostly as relic gifts. In this way an attempt is made to build a relatively true picture of the wide response and impact of steatite technique not just in local context but also within the Balkan Peninsula, Russia, Italy and Western Europe.


Table of contents

E. Bakalova. Byzantine steatite icons from Bulgaria: Presentation


I. Steatite from Bulgaria: Research motives, sources, models and copies

II. History of research

III. 11th15th century steatite icon: Style, iconography, masters

1. Steatite reliefs: First attempts

2. Iconography, sculpting manners and place of the steatite icon

Military saints (martyrs and warriors) and the Coronation depiction

Virgin Mary, Christ, evangelical scenes

Archangels, church fathers and other saints

Composite icons

Pectoral crosses

3. Workshops and masters

Constantinople and Thessaloniki: Centers of organized steatite production in the 11th  end of 12th century

13th14th century provincial and monastic masters

IV. Steatite plastic and art culture of the Second Bulgarian Kingdom

1. Distribution of steatite works

2. Interaction of artistic techniques


1. Icons

2. Crosses






Publisher Faber
Language English
Pages 340
Illustrations b&w and color photographs, drawings
Binding hardback
ISBN 978-619-00-1308-2
Creation date 2021
Size 21 х 29 cm

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