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Tsirkoli, Murals of the Church of the Virgin

Building: Tsirkoli, Church of the Virgin
Layer of the Murals: One Layer
Date/Period: 10th c.
Donor(s): Unknown
Painter(s): Unknown
Building Gallery


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


Presently, fragments of the paintings have survived only on some sections of the interior. By the mid-20th century, the paintings had been much better preserved. Its photos and colour copies of the paintings make it possible to restore certain parts of the pictorial program of the ensemble.



It was impossible to observe murals on the vault of the drumless dome. A row of half-figures of prophets inscribed in medallions was represented between the squinches at the bottom of the dome, while winged angels were depicted in the squinches. In the 1950s painting could be observed along the whole width of only the west wall – it featured a big-size scene of the Nativity.

Inner faces of the double arch formed in the wall separating the hall and the western two-storied chamber represented five-segment vertical friezes whose middle segment was decorated with ornaments, while other segments depicted half-figures of saints (apparently, of holy mothers). St. Phebronia (Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ Ⴔ[ႤႡ]ႰႭႬႨႠ – Saint Phebronia) is featured on the northern intrados of the south arch, and St. Mavriane ([Ⴜ(ႫႨႣႠ)Ⴢ] ႫႠႥႰႨႠႬႤ – Saint Mavriane) – on the southern intrados of the north arch.

Fragments of murals have also survived on other sections of the west chamber in the form of ornamental motifs decorating faces and lintels of the apertures, as well as wall arches; personification of the sun in the form of a wheel is depicted in the tympanum of the door in the southern part of the west wall of the west chamber.


Tat’jana Shevjakova, Monumental’naja zhivopis’ rannego srednevekov’ja Gruzii [Monumental Painting of the Early Medieval Georgia] (Tbilisi, 1983), pl. 112–8.

Zaza Skhirtladze, “Masalebi ts’irk’olis eklesiis p’reskebis shests’avlisat’vis. ts’minda dedat’a gamosakhulebani” [“Materials for the Study of Tsirkoli Murals: Images of Female Saints”], T’bilisis saxelmtsip’o universitetis shromebi: istoria, ark’eologia, etnologia, khelovnebat’mtsodneoba [Proceedings of Tbilisi State University: History, Archaeology, Ethnology, Art History] 328 (1999): 158–69.