The statue has shortened and narrowed proportions that emphasize the sense of verticalism. The Enlightener is represented with a nimbus and episcopal garb.

Relief of St. Clement of Ohrid, XNUMXth century.

Relief of St. Clement of Ohrid, XNUMXth century.
Wood The original is kept in the Icon Gallery, Ohrid, North Macedonia
Copy master Georgi Trayanov
139 x 4 x 33,4 cm
National History Museum inv. No. 22649

The statue has shortened and narrowed proportions that emphasize the sense of verticalism. The Enlightener is represented with a nimbus and episcopal garb. The face, rendered realistically – with small eyes, prominent cheekbones, an elongated nose and a masterfully modeled beard, radiates calmness and spirituality. He is dressed in tunic, mantle and omophorus, with three crosses in flat relief. He holds a gospel in his left hand and the right is raised high, almost to the shoulder in a blessing gesture, the wrist is missing. The scheme of the image corresponds to the Byzantine iconography of frontally presented, blessing saints. The individualized, portrait features suggest the following of an early archetype that has not reached us.

It is assumed that the statue stood over the grave of St. Clement, who was buried in the Church of St. Panteleimon" in Ohrid, and after the conversion of the temple into a mosque, together with the relics of the saint, it was transferred and placed vertically in the southern part of the altar space of the church "St. The Virgin Perivlepta". There are different opinions about the purpose and dating of the relief. Most researchers note the influence of Romanesque tomb sculpture, but its chronological affiliation to the 70th century is not disputed. The position of the hands - the blessing gesture and the book in the left hand - suggest the vertical position of the sculpture. Most likely, the statue is the work of an Ohrid master who worked under the influence of Romanesque and pre-Gothic trends. A direct analogue is the image of the enlightener in the church "St. Ioan Caneo" from the 80s - XNUMXs of the XNUMXth century.

Until the first half of the 9th century, the image was used as an icon in lithic processions on the occasion of the anniversaries of the saint's death (August 27 = July XNUMX).

Author: Ch. Assistant Professor Mariela Inkova, PhD.
Photographer: Todor Dimitrov

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