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Akura, Murals of the Church of St. David Garejeli. First Layer

Building: Akura, Church of St. David Garejeli
Layer of the Murals: First Layer
Date/Period: Mid-9th century
Donor(s): Unknown
Painter(s): Unknown
Building Gallery


of the Donor(s)
of the Painter(s)


The painting of the first layer can be identified on the east façade. Part of the fresco inscriptions on the west façade must belong to the same period.



On the east façade above the central window, in the central area of a decorative two-stepped niche arranged in the façade masonry and formed by concentric circles, there is the face and neck of the Savior without a halo painted with cinnabar and light pink paint (moreover, the circular form of the niche can be perceived as a halo). The inner area of the circular niche has short radial lines painted with cinnabar. Four relatively small faces can be identified on four sides around the central image (presently two of them are badly damaged). The circular niche is surrounded by a travertine-built shaft which is also perceived as the framing of the composition.

On the west façade inscriptions of different periods have been preserved. Two supplicatory inscriptions engraved on the band of plaster in the lower section of the decorative arch arranged in the façade masonry are regarded as contemporaneous with construction of the basilica. Grooves of the graphemes had been painted red, just like the narrow framing around the inscription, while some letters seem to have been executed with paint: Ⴕ Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ) Ⴖ(ႫႰ)Ⴇ(Ⴈ)ႱႫႸ(Ⴍ)Ⴁ(Ⴄ)ႪႭ, Ⴘ(ႤႨႼႷႠႪ)Ⴄ ႲႡႪ ႣႠ ႸႥ(Ⴈ)Ⴊ|ႬႨ ႫႨႱႬ[Ⴈ] ႫႭႱႼႰႠႴ(ႤႡႠ)Ⴢ ႵႫ[ႬႠ ႣႠ] ႠႶ(Ⴀ)ႸႤႬ[Ⴀ Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ] ႤႱႤ ႱႠႷ[Ⴃ(Ⴀ)ႰႨ] | ႸႤႬჂქ. წ(მიდა)ო ღ(მრ)თ(ი)სმშ(ო)ბ(ე)ლო, შ(ეიწყალ)ე ტბლ და შვ(ი)ლნი მ(ი)სნ[ი], მოსწრაფ(ება)ჲ ქმ[ნა და] აღ(ა)შენ[ა წ(მიდა)ჲ] ესე საყ[დ(ა)რი] შენჲ.

Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴍ Ⴖ(ႫႰ)Ⴇ(Ⴈ)Ⴑ ႫႸ(Ⴍ)Ⴁ(Ⴄ)Ⴊ(Ⴍ) | Ⴘ(ႤႤႼႨ)Ⴄ [Ⴄ](ႰႨႱႧႠႥႧ) [Ⴄ](ႰႨႱႧႠႥႱႠ) (?) ႣႥႪႧႠ (?) | [ႣႠ ႻႤႧႠ] ႫႨႱႧႠ | [——] ႰႠႠ|ႰჂႱ[—]ႰႠ[—]ႸႠ[—] წ(მიდა)ო ღ(მრ)თ(ი)ს მშ(ო)ბ(ე)ლ(ო) შ(ეეწი)ე [ე](რისთავთ) [ე](რისთავსა) (?) დვლთა (?) [და ძეთა] მისთა [- – – – – -]რა არჲს[- – -]რა[- – -]შა[- – -].

Only fragments of paint can be discerned in the first line of the inscription executed in red paint; thick letters of the second line are decorated with floral motifs: [ႠႣ]ႨႣႤ Ⴑ~ႳႪ()Ⴇ Glorify by soul.


T’eimuraz Barnaveli, Kakhet’is istoriuli dzeglebis ts’arts’erebi [The Inscriptions of the Historical Monuments of Kakheti] (Tbilisi, 1962), 7–10.

Tat’jana Shevjakova, Monumental’naja zhivopis’ rannego srednevekov’ja Gruzii [The Monumental Painting of the Early Medieval Georgia] (Tbilisi, 1983), 8.

Marine Gvelesiani, “Mze-kristesa da zhamt’a gamoskhulebebis shesakheb akuris bazilikis aghmosavlet’ p’asadze” [“Concerning the images of Sun-Christ and Times on the Eastern Façade of the Akura Basilica”], Literatura and Khelovneba [Literature and Art] 1–2 (1997): 59–92.

Fleur Devdariani, T’amaz Dvali, “Akura. dedat’a monasteri” [Akura. Nunnery], in Sakart’velos istoriisa da kulturis dzeglt’a aghts’eriloba [The Survey of the Historical and Cultural Monuments of Georgia] III (Tbilisi, 2015), 147.