Page 117 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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  Saint Sava, Saint Simeon Nemanja and King Stefan the First-Crowned, west wall of the narthex, Church of the Mother of God of Ljeviša, 1308–1314
preached by Christ. The south personification is Night with an extinguished torch. There are intricate composi- tions on the arches of the open porch. On the northern side there is a picture of Christ’s forebears, the Tree of jesse, in a detailed pattern with small figures intertwined in fluttering tendrils. in the opposite field is the Last judg- ment with the Savior hovering in the light of the celestial arch, comprising numerous elements of the rich story of Christ’s Second Coming. More pronounced than in pre- vious visions of this event here, too, the artist used fig- ures from classical antiquity: nude female figures repre- senting earth and the male figure of Hell, all astride mon- sters, bearing symbols in their hands.
The Baptism, often depicted outside the Great Feasts, is the richest representation of the new character of art. it is located in the western part of the church and is con- nected to the rite of baptism or consecration of the water. This theme was given a ceremonious place on the central vault below the bell-tower, and consists of a series of cir- cularly arranged events recounted without any separation in a unique landscape with the River jordan overflowing
the land in the forefront. in order to portray this rich sto- ry, the artist culled its elements from different Gospels just as he used various sources for his other themes.
Other pictures exhibit a profound erudition and effort to express complex theological thought. Portions taken from a broad collection of religious literature, especially poetry, which in delicate terms and metaphors celebrat- ed phenomena and personalities in Christian history by returning to their prefigurations in the Old Testament, interpreted them in the language of dogma. in honor of the Mother of God to whom the church was dedicated, the hymn “The Prophets have predicted you...” is illus- trated in the arches, below her representation above the entrance to the church. Old Testament figures six on each side, point to the objects of their visions: David seeing the Mother of God as a shrine, Solomon as a temple with sev- en columns, Daniel as a mountain and jacob as a ladder, and the like. it was difficult to transpose ideas and poetic statements into pictures so the artists had recourse to the traditional words of the ancient world, its symbols and allegories which had a continued life in Byzantium and
The Cathedral of the Mother of God of Ljeviša

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