art historian, Regional Museum, Jagodina
RELIKVIJAR DESPOTICE BARBARE FRANKOPAN BRANKOVIĆ
RELIQUARY OF DESPOTISSA BARBARA FRANKOPAN BRANKOVIC
Contribution to the Study
Journal 8/2012 (Museum of Applied Art), pages 23-36
739(497.5)”14” ; 27-526.6(497.5)”14”
Abstract (original language):
Raskošni relikvijar, danas u riznici franjevačkog samostana na Trsatu, a nekada u posedu srpske despotice Barbare Frankopan Branković izrađen je u obliku grane od pozlaćenih srebrnih cevi na kojima su naturalistički dati cvetovi, listovi i trnovi. Nosači moštiju različitih oblika i veličina imaju nat
Key words: (original language)
Barbara Frankopan, Brankovići, mošti, relikvijar, Trsat
Lavish reliquary, formerly owned by Despotissa Barbara Frankopan Brankovic, presently in the Treasury of Franciscan Monastery in Trsat near Rijeka, has rarely been of any interest to the researchers. This unique cult object is formed in the shape of symbolic branch made of silver gilded tubes with naturalistically crafted flowers, leaves and thorns. It consists of cast larger and smaller fragments of relics on frames, marked with inscriptions and decorated with filigree, and three encolpia on the middle axes also with relics, decorated with pearls, precious and semi-precious stones.
As the inscriptions had not been read or had been read incorrectly in older literature, not shading any light on the origin of the idea and the period of creation, a new research lasting several days was conducted during 2011. Following a close analysis of the reliquary, thirty eight inscriptions in Old Serbian and Greek languages were found, and the inscriptions from the lost frames, recorded in the sources and photo documentation, were added as thirty ninth and fortieth. The paper gives an analysis of the reliquary, reconstruction of the original organization of the relics (based on the old photographs and descriptions from 1648), copy of all inscriptions and formats of thirty – two preserved frames. New readings provide correction to all previous editions and this is the first time that all inscriptions on the existing frames have been read, including not so visible inscription on the rim of the panaghiarion.
Paleographic analysis has shown that five different engravers have been engraving the inscriptions. The first craftsman has done the engraving on the back of the panaghiarion (No. 15) and the holy relics frame (No. 30). The second has done the most of engraving (No. 1-5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 18, 19, 22-29, 33-38, 40) and engraving on the rim of the panaghiarion (No. 15). The third has done the engraving on the frames No. 6, 7, 31 and 39, the fourth on the frames No. 20 and 32, while the fifth has done engraving in Greek on the frame No. 14.
Although it is a view in historiography that the reliquary got its present shape after the holy relics had been taken to the West, iconographic analogies with the motif of elliptical vines on the reliquaries and icons with the themes of celebrating the Holy Mother, being present in Eastern cult practice and art since the middle of the 15th century, point to this direction for the further research of the reliquary of Despotissa Barbara.
You can download PDF of the article (1.5 MB)