Marka Tomić Djurić
University of Belgrade; Institute for Balkan Studies of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

The Fresco Ensemble above the South Entrance at Markov Manastir

The monastery church of Markov Manastir, foundation of a Serbian nobleman, later king, Vukašin and his son Marko, was frescoed in 1376/77. It is situated in the vicinity of Skopje, in present-day Republic of Macedonia.
The fresco ensemble above the south entrance comprises the portraits of king Vukašin and king Marko, complemented with seven busts of saints, arranged in a semicircle line. On the right-hand side the Virgin of the Passion (Θεοτόκος του Πάθους) is accompanied with King David, St. Stephen and St. Anastasia Pharmakolytria, while on the left-hand side there are archangel, King Solomon and St. Katherine. Together with royal portraits they frame the central lunette with a depiction of St. Demetrius in military costume and Chist Emmanuel depicted above. The accompanying inscription is Ο ΑΓΙΟΣ ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ Ο ΕΛΕΗΜΩΝ. The frescoes are also preserved in the soffit of the arch. Full-length figures of two holy hermits are depicted in the upper part, while two holy women, treated in the same manner are depicted below. A poor state of preservation of the accompanying inscriptions still doesn’t allow the certain identification of these saints.
The aim of the paper is to analyse the contents of the frescoes as well as their conceptual meaning. This comprises iconography, ideological, historical and theological aspects of the present images as well as their place in the context of the church decoration.