Telovani, Murals of the Сhurch of Holy Cross. First Layer
|Building:||Telovani, Church of Holy Cross|
|Layer of the Murals:||First Layer|
of the Donor(s)
of the Painter(s)
A single-line asomtavruli inscription is represented above the halo of St. Andrew the Apostle depicted in the second registre of the chancel conch:
Ⴊ[- – – – -] [ႫႭႨ]ჄႱႤႬႤႧ – Commemorate L[- – – – -] (Zaza Skhirtladze, Adreuli shua saukuneebis kart’uli kedlis mkhatvroba. T’elovanis jvarpatiosani [Early Medieval Georgian Monumental Painting. Telovani Church of the Holy Cross] (Tbilisi, 2008), 20).
The original painting decorated only the chancel; the painting is distributed in two registres.
A three-figure composition of Christ in Majesty is depicted in the conch. It shows enthroned Christ flanked by kneeling angels. Presently, the extant images are only fragmentary. A line of stylized floral ornament bordered on two sides runs around the edge of the conch. Compositions of the conch and the lower registre are separated with a coiled band-like ornament.
In the second registre, on both sides of the window, the starry background represents a host of holy apostles and the face of the Savior encircled in a medallion depicted in the center (Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ | [ႮႨ]ႰႨ Ⴖ(ႫႰ)Ⴇ[ႨႱႠ] – Holy Face of God. St. Peter, St. Andrew ([Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ] | [-]|[-]|Ⴃ|Ⴐ|Ⴈ|[-] – Saint Andrew), presumably, St. James, St. Simeon are depicted right of the window. Due to the damaged layer of the painting, it is impossible to identify the fifth figure, while only small fragments have survived from the sixth one. Left of Christ’s image is St. Paul ([Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ] | Ⴎ|Ⴀ|Ⴅ|Ⴊ| [Ⴄ] – Saint Paul) and St. Bartholomew ([Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ] | Ⴁ|Ⴀ|Ⴐ|Ⴇ|Ⴊ|[Ⴍ]|Ⴋ|Ⴄ – Saint Bartholomew); only fragments have survived from the third and the fourth figures, while the fifth and the sixth ones are completely obliterated.
The second registre is confined with a double red line from below. On the north and south walls of the apse below it there is a calvary cross mounted on a stepped pedestal and inscribed in a rectangular frame.
The chancel window is left unpainted.
Tat’jana Shevjakova, “Data rospisi pervogo sloja khrama Telovani” [“Date of the First Layer of Paintings in the Telovani Church”], Sak’art’velos metsnierebat’a akademiis moambe [Bulletin of the Georgian Academy of Sciences] XXXIV, №1 (1964): 235–42.
Tat’jana Shevjakova, Monumental’naja zhivopis’ rannego srednevekov’ja Gruzii [Monumental Painting of the Early Medieval Georgia] (Tbilisi, 1983), 6–7.
Zaza Skhirtladze, Adreuli shua saukuneebis kart’uli kedlis mkhatvroba. T’elovanis jvarpatiosani [Early Medieval Georgian Monumental Painting. Telovani Church of the Holy Cross] (Tbilisi, 2008).