The Lopushanski Monastery of Saint John the Forerunner (spelling as it is referred to on this site) is situated at 300m above sea level in the Chiprovtsi part of the Balkan mountain range.
The icon discovery"of the Virgin Mary and little Jesus Christ" was made after a devote, elderly woman phoned the monastery abbot to tell him about dream she had.
"The back of the sacred find reveals that it was placed in a temple where there was a fire because its one side is burnt. Two evergreen cypresses are depicted as well as they are symbol of eternity in Orthodoxy.
[Archimandrite] Sioniy believes that this icon was painted in the years when the place was an old monastery, which was destroyed in 1688 by Ottoman Turks after a local uprising against the Ottoman Empire was suppressed."
Above is featured a St John pencil drawing by famous 19C Bulgarian iconographer Zahari Zograf. .
A short video on the new icon discovery has been posted). My library contains one very good book detailing the history and regional traits of Bulgarian icons. A selection of images from this book are pictured below.You can also refer to the Samokov School of Iconography.
This newly discovered icon will be copied by icon writers. Hopefully it will be the source of renewal for the region.
Full discovery story.
The Orthodox icons of Bulgaria, general history
The Wondrous Bachkovo Icon
Religious Art in the Bulgarian Lands (PDF)
Nine popular monasteries in Bulgaria: "There are nearly 120 monasteries on the territory of Bulgaria."
A find from 2003: "Stolen icons from the 17th century were seized in a police operation in Bulgaria's second-biggest city of Plovdiv. The icons were discovered on the road between two villages near Plovdivin a box hidden in the bushes near the road. The found icons will be given to Plovdiv's bishopric." SNA
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