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Gareja, Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Murals of the Chapel

Building: Gareja, Monastery of St. John the Baptist, Chapel
Layer of the Murals: One Layer
Date/Period: Turn of the 11th to the 12th centuries – the beginning of the 12th century
Donor(s): Unknown
Painter(s): Unknown
Building Gallery


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



Only the chancel conch was painted in a small hall-type church carved out into the rock on the eastern edge of the monastery of St. John the Baptist. It shows the composition of the Deesis with half-length figures of the Savior, the Virgin and St, John the Baptist. The savior ((ησο)ς Χ(ριστ)ς Jesus Christ) is depicted in the center with His right hand raised in blessing and the Bible in His left hand. On the left is the Virgin (Μ(ήτη)ρ Θ(εο) – Mother of God), on the right – St. John the Baptist (the inscription is destroyed). They are both depicted with their hands raised in supplication and facing Christ. The painted layer has suffered considerable damage over centuries; due to collapse of the plastering the images have survived in fragments, the upper layer of the painting is obliterated.


“Garejis mravalmt’is monastrebi. Dasavlet’i masivis gamok’vabuli monastrebis ark’itek’turis, kedlis mkhatvrobisa da epigrp’ikis sruli p’oto da grap’ikuli p’ik’sats’ia” [“Monasteries of the Gareja Desert. Photo and Graphic Survey of the Western Massive Cave Monasteries”], in Nikoloz Vacheishvili ed., Erovnuli kulturuli memkvidreobis programa – 1997 [National Cultural Heritage Programme – 1997] (Tbilisi, 1997), 40–1.

Aneli Vol’skaja, Dimitri T’umanishvili, Marine Bulia, T’eimuraz Jojua, Davitgarejis monastrebi: Nat’lismtsemeli, Bert’ubani (Tbilisi, 2011), 11–2.