Adishi, Murals of the Church of St. George
|Building:||Adishi, Church of St. George ("Jgrag")|
|Layer of the Murals:||One Layer|
of the Donor(s)
of the Painter(s)
The whole interior of the church, the chancel screen and the northern façade are decorated with murals; the earthquake caused considerable destruction to the structure and its painting, although it is still possible to discern scenes and images and, accordingly, to identify the program.
The conch represents a three-figure composition of the Deesis: enthroned Christ is encircled in a mandorla (Ⴈ(ႤႱ)Ⴣ || [Ⴕ(ႰႨႱႲ)Ⴄ] – Jesus Christ) and full-length images of the Virgin and St. John the Baptist are facing towards Christ with their hands raised in supplication. The Savior is depicted with an open book (the inscription on the book is illegible).
In the second registre, half-length figures of holy fathers are distributed irregularly: only one figure of Basil the Great (Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ || ႡႠႱႨႪႨ – Saint Basili) is depicted left of the window (on the north), while the right side (on the south) shows St. John Chrysostom (Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ || ႨႭႠႬႤ [ႭႵႰ]|ႭႮႨႰႨ – Saint John Chrysostom) and an image of another bishop (presumably St. Nicholas ([…]Ⴊ[…]). The bishops are represented with their right hands in blessing and closed codices.
A broad geometrical ornament runs along the bottom of the second registre.
Painting has survived on the architrave of the three-span chancel screen – it is covered with floral patterns.
The painting in the upper registre of the south wall (vault) is destroyed. the scene of St. George Saving a Youth from Captivity is depicted in the lower row.
Hardly any painting has survived in the upper registre (vault) of the north wall; according to the extant small fragments, it must be the scene of Torture of St. George on the Wheel (only the feet of the figures and the swords fixed to the cart have survived). The lower registre shows taming of the dragon and liberation of the princess, so-called Miracle of the City of Lasia.
The west wall is completely dedicated to the scene of Christ Blessing the Holy Warriors. The center of the upper edge of the wall shows Christ’s image to the chest inscribed in a semi-circle. He crowns the holy warriors with His hands stretched out. There are standing frontal figures of St. George (Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ || Ⴂ(ႨႭႰႢ)Ⴈ – Saint George) in the southern half of the wall, and St. Theodore (Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ || Ⴇ(ႤႥႣႭႰ)Ⴄ – Saint Theodore) in the north. St. George is depicted holding a spear and a shield, while St. Theodore has a spear and a sheath in his hands. The tympanum shows Christ Emmanuel (Ⴈ[-]).
The north façade is dedicated to the warrior saints: St. George kills Diocletian, St. Theodore slays a dragon. The saints are both facing to the west.
Aneli Volskaia, “Kedlis mkhatvroba sop. adishis ts’. giorgis eklesiashi” [“Wall Paintings of the Church of Saint George in Adishi”], Dzeglis megobari [Monument’s Friend] 18 (1969): 53–8.
Ekaterina Privalova, Pavnisi (Tbilisi, 1977), 77–9.
Natela Aladashvili, Gajane Alibegashvili, Aneli Vol’skaja, Zhivopisnaja shkola Svaneti [The Painting School of Svaneti] (Tbilisi, 1983), 121–3.
Tat’jana Shevjakova, Monumental’naja zhivopis’ rannego srednevekov’ja Gruzii [The Monumental Painting of the Early Medieval Georgia] (Tbilisi, 1983), 17–25.